Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Exploitation Charges
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of Attempted Coercion and Enticement of a Minor, Distribution and Attempted Distribution of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and Possession of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.
Wayne Edward McNutt, age 57, pleaded guilty to four counts before Senior United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from Feb. 25, 2021, until July 26, 2021, McNutt used the Internet and a cellular telephone to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years to engage in sexual activity. Specifically, McNutt engaged online with law enforcement acting in an undercover capacity and purporting to be a parent and child. McNutt expressed interested in meeting the child for sexual conduct and sent the purported minor’s parent money to enable the parent and child to travel to Pittsburgh to meet McNutt for sexual conduct. McNutt planned to meet the purported minor and parent at a hotel in Pittsburgh that he booked. On July 26, 2021, law enforcement intercepted McNutt when he arrived at the Pittsburgh-area hotel to meet the minor.
During the course of this investigation, on March 11 and March 16, 2021, McNutt sent to the undercover agent image and video files that depicted minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. When agents encountered McNutt on July 26, 2021, he possessed a cell phone that contained additional videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. This child sexual abuse material included depictions of prepubescent minors.
Judge Conti scheduled sentencing for Feb. 1, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 15 years and not more than life in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, McNutt remains detained.
Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI Pittsburgh Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, the FBI Albany Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, and the FBI Albany Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of McNutt.
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.