Former Parochial Vicar Indicted on Child Exploitation Charges
PHILADELPHIA—Mark Haynes, 56, of West Chester, PA, was indicted on March 12, 2015, on charges of child exploitation, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Haynes, a former parochial Vicar, is charged with using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual conduct, transfer of obscene material to a minor, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and destruction or concealment of evidence.
According to court documents, around 2010, Haynes posed as a 16-year old girl named “Katie” on a teen dating website. As “Katie,” Haynes would meet minor girls online and allegedly request that they take and send sexually explicit pictures. Haynes is also charged with distributing other images and videos of children being sexually assaulted over the Internet in 2014, again posing as “Katie.”
If convicted of all charges, Haynes faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life, possible fines, and at least five years up to a lifetime of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the FBI in conjunction with the Chester County Criminal Investigative Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rotella.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
An Indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.