Dover Teacher Charged in Federal Child Exploitation Case
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Matthew B. Puterbaugh, 47, of Dover, Pennsylvania was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg charging him with production of receiving, and possession of, child pornography.
If convicted, Puterbaugh faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment on the production charge, a mandatory minimum five years’ imprisonment on the receipt charge and a statutory maximum of 70 years’ imprisonment.
According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, Puterbaugh was a music teacher and band director at Dover Intermediate School in York County. He allegedly secretly recorded images of female students at the school that constitute child pornography. In February 2014, school officials reported a complaint to the Northern York County Regional Police Department. Police conducted searches and allegedly found thousands of images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on computers in Puterbaugh=s home. Puterbaugh was suspended by the school district and charged by the York County District Attorney’s Office. Earlier this week, he was terminated from his position by the school district.
Puterbaugh appeared before Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab this afternoon. He was detained pending a detention hearing.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States 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/.
This case is part of a continuing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northern York County Regional Police Department in cooperation with the York County District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith A. Taylor. Anyone with information concerning the subject matter of the investigation should contact the FBI at 717-232-8686 and reference the Puterbaugh case. Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of 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.