PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Indiana County, Pa. has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The one-count indictment named Christopher Murdock, 27, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment, on or about Nov. 17, 2012, Murdock possessed visual depictions, namely, videos and images in computer graphics files, the production of which involved the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. 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 Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation 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 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.