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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 29, 2017

West Virginia Man Charged with Traveling to Western PA for Sex with a Minor

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Huntington, West Virginia, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of inducing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

The two-count indictment, returned on June 27, named Steven Michael Pursell, age 34, of Huntington, WV.

According to the indictment, from on or about March 20, 2017, until on or about March 21, 2017, Pursell traveled in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with another person, a minor under 18 years of age.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 30 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. This case is being prosecuted 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.

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

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 29, 2017