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Press Release

Parker, PA Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Sex Abuse Materials

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

ERIE, Pa. – A resident of Parker, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti announced today.

Thomas Robert Hawk, 41, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from August 2021 to May 2022, Hawk possessed and accessed with intent to view visual images and videos in individual digital files depicting prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. As part of his plea agreement, Hawk agreed that he had violated the conditions of his federal supervised release which he was serving for a prior federal conviction for receiving child sexual abuse material. Hawk also agreed as part of his guilty plea to a sentence of 11 years' imprisonment to be followed by ten years of supervised release.

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

Judge Baxter scheduled sentencing for Aug. 8, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 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 Hawk remained detained.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Probation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Hawk.

Updated April 24, 2023

Project Safe Childhood