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Press Release

Ellwood City Resident Pleads Guilty to Attempted Production and Production of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Ellwood City, PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of attempted production and production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

David Bates, age 63, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan on June 12, 2023.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in or between July 2020 and October 2020, Bates and another individual attempted to and did use, persuade, induce entice and coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of the minor engaged in such conduct.

Judge Ranjan scheduled sentencing for October 3, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, Bates remains detained.

Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Bates.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 15, 2023

Project Safe Childhood