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Man facing federal child pornography, trafficking charges

Authorities have arrested a man who is accused of several very serious criminal charges related to his interaction with a 15-year-old girl. Investigators assert that the man, who is 51 years of age, crossed state lines for the purpose of transporting the girl out of Pennsylvania and into a neighboring state. He is accused of interacting with the girl with the intent to engage in sexual acts, which is a federal crime. He is now charged with exploitation of a child, possession and distribution of child pornography and trafficking of a minor for the purpose of sexual activities.

It is unclear how the man came into contact with the girl, or how long the two had been communicating. Investigators assert that the purpose of the interaction, and of the man's decision to transport the girl across state lines, was for the purpose of engaging in sexual relations. He is charged with transporting another teenage girl for the same purposes earlier this year.

In addition, investigators claim that the man persuaded the two minors to engage in sexual acts that were filmed. This is likely the basis for the charges of child pornography. It is unknown whether the images were distributed to others or by what means such distribution may have taken place, but the charges include allegations of distribution.

The man is not charged with any form of sexual battery, which suggests that any sexual contact between he and the two girls was not by force. As the case moves forward, additional details may be made available, including how the man came into contact with the girls before transporting them across the Pennsylvania state line. In creating a criminal defense strategy, the man and his legal team are aware of the serious punitive measures that accompany a conviction for child pornography and sex trafficking.

Source: wkbn.com, "Leetonia man federally charged with sex trafficking", Jonathan Stroshine, May 8, 2015

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