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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Greensburg Man Charged with Using Cell Phone to Coerce a Minor to Have Sex

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Westmoreland County has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The one-count indictment named Robert Franzino, 60, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, from Sept. 9, 2015 and continuing thereafter until March 13, 2016, Franzino used facilities and means of interstate and foreign commerce, specifically an Android cellular phone to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $750,000.00, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Greensburg 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.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by 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 better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 4, 2016