Former Wilkinsburg Man Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Images and Videos Showing the Sexual Exploitation of Children
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -A former resident of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to a term of imprisonment of 36 months to be followed by eight years of supervised release on his conviction of Possession of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Senior United States District Court Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Jason Gerade Harris, Jr., age 26.
According to information presented to the court, FBI agents received a tip from Minnesota that a complainant discovered naked images of her 7-year-old son sent via Skype. The conversations originated on PlayStation and were continued via Skype. Agents also learned that a 13-year-old Tampa, Florida juvenile was enticed to take explicit pictures of his 6-year-old brother to send using the Kik app. The investigation led to the defendant at 1936 Wright St., Wilkinsburg, PA.
On December 6, 2018, agents executed a search warrant on the defendant’s residence. When they advised that they were at the house because someone used the internet there to coerce minors to send nude photos and/or videos, Harris, Jr. abruptly stated, "It was me", and provided details about his communications with minors. A forensic review of the defendant’s phone revealed two chats of interest in the "TextNow" app, where the defendant requested nude photographs of a minor. The forensic review also revealed 171 images and three videos of apparent child pornography, but nothing from his communications with the children in Minnesota or Florida.
Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.
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.