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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Former Pittsburgh Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Attempted Coercion of a Minor for Sex

PITTSBURGH - A former resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 180 months’ imprisonment followed by 10 years’ supervised release on his conviction of Attempted Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Joseph Hamilton, age 39.

According to information presented to the court, from March 11, 2019 until on or about April 18, 2019, Hamilton communicated online and via text messaging with an undercover FBI agent, believing the agent to be a minor, to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce the purported minor to engage in sexual activity with him. Law enforcement arrested Hamilton on April 18, 2019, when Hamilton attempted to meet the purported minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

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

United States Attorney Brady commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Hamilton.

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 www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated September 23, 2020