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Press Release

Judge Sentences Mercer County Woman to 9 Years for Distributing Sexual Images of a Minor

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

PITTSBURGH – A former Mercer County resident has been sentenced in federal court to nine years’ imprisonment and five years’ supervised release on her conviction of Distribution of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Mary Jacobs, age 29, formerly of Farrell, Pennsylvania.

According to information presented to the court, from February 27, 2017 through February 28, 2017, Jacobs distributed approximately 11 still images depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor to an individual using “Skout”, an online chat forum. Jacobs had been communicating online with the individual for a short period and she acknowledged producing the images at his request. The child victim had not yet attained the age of 12 years. That individual to whom she sent the imagery is currently serving a 15-year term of imprisonment in the State of Florida for offenses involving possession of child sexual abuse material and related offenses.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Bissoon stated that she was granting a departure from the advisory guideline range based upon the totality of the circumstances, which included Jacobs’ intellectual disabilities.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Chung commended the Pennsylvania State Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Jacobs.

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

Updated December 3, 2021

Project Safe Childhood