Thursday, June 23, Federal prosecutors charged 53-year-old Jesse Diaz of Sciota with accessing and viewing child pornography.
According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the criminal information charge alleges that Diaz accessed a private chat group dedicated to distributing and sharing child pornography. The chat was accessed through his Kik messenger account with the intent of viewing minors, including a minor under the age of 12 years old, engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski is the prosecutor of this case. Indictments and Criminal Information are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed innocent unless and until found guilty in court. According to The Department of Justice, the maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the case’s judge is required to consider and weigh factors including the nature, circumstances, and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
These charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Portland, Oregon Divisions. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood.
Project Safe Childhood is 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.
More information on Project Safe Childhood can be found here.
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