Photographer Charged with Manufacturing Child Pornography
PHILADELPHIA—Mark Wilkens, 57, of Philadelphia, PA, was charged by indictment, unsealed today, with manufacturing child pornography and possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. According to the indictment, Wilkens was working as a volunteer photographer for WXPN radio station when, on various dates from August 2010 through July 4th, he photographed prepubescent children at public events to capture and attempt to capture sexually explicit images. Wilkens was arrested this morning.
The indictment charges five counts of manufacturing and attempting to manufacture child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography which Wilkens allegedly downloaded from the Internet. If convicted of all charges, Wilkens faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years with a possible advisory sentencing guideline range 210 to 262 months in prison.
This case was investigated by the Philadelphia Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and 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 until proven guilty.