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.
Pittsburgh residents interested in information about internet crime may wish to know more about unauthorized access of federal government computer systems. Depending on the specific circumstances, the penalties for these offenses can be very serious.
According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Williamsport, the CEO of the Boals Mansion Museum is requesting to have separate trials for the charges he is facing. In the motion filed by his attorney, he asserts that the child pornography allegations do not have anything to do with the child sex allegations and should thus be tried separately.
Phishing is a type of scam normally run over the Internet in which people in Pennsylvania and around the country are targeted with fraudulent emails purporting to be from a government agency, bank or legitimate company. In these types of scams, thousands of potential victims are sent emails that try to prompt them to enter private information.
Allegations of producing or possessing child pornography often lead to the question of whether investigators had the right to access images on a computer and subsequently charge a person in connection with those images. Factual issues may also arise, such as whether or not a person accused of producing child pornography is really the person depicted in a video or picture.
If convicted, people who have been accused of possessing, receiving or distributing child pornography could face a minimum of 5 years in prison. Under Pennsylvania's Megan's Law, a person facing state charges related to child pornography could also be required to register as a sex offender.
Because the Internet spans state and national borders, allegations of Internet crimes can be prosecuted under federal law and state law. This can lead to a dizzying set of legal circumstances for a defendant, and anyone accused of federal or state Internet crimes would be wise to seek appropriate legal counsel.
Last week authorities in Ohio were trying to decide if they would file federal charges against a 49-year-old Pennsylvania man accused of trying to set up a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old boy. The man was being held on a charge of importuning with a telecommunications device, and if a federal prosecutor decides to take up the case, then the possible penalties will increase significantly.
There is little doubt that, for most Pennsylvania residents, facing allegations of federal crimes can be a scary ordeal to endure. Add in the complications that can arise from also facing accusations of state crimes, and it can be even scarier. One Pennsylvania man recently found himself in this position after being charged with federal crimes of bank robbery and a state crime of stolen property. This situation could have led to the man serving the sentence for each set of allegations separately; but fortunately he was able to work out a more favorable deal with authorities.