Former Lake City, PA Resident Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Laws Related to the Sexual Exploitation of Children
ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Lake City, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.
William Joseph Leuschen, 38, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from in and around May 2020 to in and around February 2022, Leuschen received and possessed images depicting prepubescent minors, some as young as infants and toddlers, engaging in sexually explicit conduct. As part of his plea, Leuschen agreed to a sentence of 15 years in jail to be followed by ten years of supervised release.
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 (CEOS), 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 www.justice.gov/psc.
Judge Baxter scheduled sentencing for April 17, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. The law provides for maximum a total sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $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, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Erie County Detectives Bureau and the Erie County Adult Probation and Parole Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Leuschen.