PITTSBURGH - A former Beaver County resident has been sentenced in federal court to 60 months’ imprisonment and 7 years’ supervised release on his conviction of distribution of images depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence on Brent Cotman, age 30, formerly of 22 White Street, Rochester, Pennsylvania.
According to information presented to the court, Cotman distributed by text message images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, some of whom had not reached the age of 12 years, to an unwitting individual, identified as "S.A.", from October 17, 2017 through October 21, 2017. Cotman had spent more than a year eluding law enforcement while simultaneously sending threatening text messages to more than 30 unsuspecting individuals in the Beaver County area, with attached digital photographs depicting the sexual exploitation of minors. Cotman used a software application known as "TextNow" to anonymize from whom the text messages had been sent.
Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
United States Attorney Brady commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Cotman.
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.