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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 14, 2022

Whitehall Man Indicted for Possessing Videos and Images of Child Sexual Abuse

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Whitehall, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of Possession of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

The one-count Indictment, returned on July 12, named Erik Jones, 24, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, from in and around September 2021 to in and around December 2021, Jones did knowingly possess visual depictions, namely, images in computer graphic and digital files, the production of which involved the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. More specifically, Jones possessed approximately 350 videos of child pornography and over 500 images of child pornography.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more 20 years in prison.  Defendant is also subject to a fine of not more than $250,000.00, and a term of supervised release of at least five years.  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 Benjamin J. Risacher is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

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.

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

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 14, 2022