Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 27, 2014|
WASHINGTON—Vincent Petaccio, 60, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, pled guilty today to a federal charge of possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Petaccio entered the guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Rudolph Contreras is to sentence him on June 18, 2014. Petaccio faces a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
According to the government’s evidence, on April 12, 2013, Petaccio contacted an undercover officer with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, who had posted an ad on a social networking site. Over the course of two days, Petaccio engaged in instant message conversations with officer, whom he believed was the father of an under-aged girl.
During their communications, Petaccio sent the undercover officer 59 still images and 10 videos of graphic child pornography. Pursuant to a search of Petaccio’s home at the time of his arrest, law enforcement recovered approximately 150 still images and 10 videos of child pornography on his computer.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director Parlave, and Chief Lanier praised the work of the MPD detectives and special agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord, who is prosecuting the case.