Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography in Erie
ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Ashland, Virginia pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
Kerry Eccles, 62, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Eccles traveled to Erie from Virginia for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor. While in Erie, Eccles took sexually explicit photos of a ten-year-old victim and sexually assaulted the victim. Eccles then transported the child pornography images of the victim back to Virginia where they were discovered during a search of his residence.
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.
Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for September 11, 2017. The law provides for a total sentence of ninety years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Erie County Detectives conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Eccles.