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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

McKeesport Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Charge

PITTSBURGH - A resident of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of Possession of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Michael Brooks, age 54, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Marilyn J. Horan.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on March 25, 2020, in connection with the execution of a search warrant at his residence, Brooks was found in possession of more than 540 still images in computer graphics and digital files depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, many of whom were under the age of 12 years.

Judge Horan scheduled sentencing for July 27, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that Brooks remain on bond and that he immediately register in Pennsylvania as a sex offender under the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

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

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Brooks.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated April 8, 2021