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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 9, 2015

Uniontown Man Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

PITTSBURGH - A Fayette County resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of distribution and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The two-count indictment, returned on Feb. 3, named Ronald Rhodes, 57, of Uniontown, Pa., as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, on or about April 3, 2014, Rhodes distributed a video containing material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors. The indictment further alleges that on or about Dec. 15, 2014, Rhodes knowingly possessed videos and images in computer graphic files, the production of which involved the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, some of whom had not yet attained 12 years of age.

Rhodes was detained today pending trial.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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.

Updated July 14, 2015