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Press Release

Freedom, PA Man Charged with Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child and Receiving Images of a Minor Engaging Sexually Explicit Conduct

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

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Freedom, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on Receipt of Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor as well as Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

The two-count Indictment, returned on Sept. 27, 2022, and unsealed on Friday, named Mark Kriss, 64, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, on or about May 22, 2021, Kriss did knowingly receive a visual depiction of a minor using any means and facility of interstate and foreign commerce, namely, the Internet and a cellular telephone, the production of which visual depiction involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and that depicted a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Further, Kriss knowingly attempted to solicit the child to engage in a commercial sex act.

Specifically, the indictment alleges Kriss was engaged in a text message conversation with the minor and asked the child to send him sexually explicit images of herself. Kriss received the images and also solicited the child to have sex with him for money. Kriss later picked up the child in a church parking lot before taking her to a motel room and sexually assaulting her.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than ten years and up to life in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, and a term of supervised release of at least five years. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin J. Risacher is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northern Regional Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated October 5, 2022

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