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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 27, 2019

Judge Sends Verona Man to Prison for 15 Years for Producing, Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court 15 years’ (180 months’) incarceration to be followed by 15 years of supervised release to violating charges of production, distribution and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on John O’Donnell, 51, formerly of Verona, PA.

According to information presented to the court, O’Donnell distributed material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor on Facebook. When authorities searched his home, he was found to be in possession of nearly 300 images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of minors. During the investigation into his illegal activities, authorities also learned that, through the use of a hidden camera, O’Donnell secretly videotaped a 12-year-old girl in his bathroom.

Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Attorney’s General Office, the Allegheny County Police Department and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of O'Donnell.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 27, 2019