U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
January 15, 2015

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charge

PITTSBURGH—An Allegheny County man pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of receipt of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

James Kerkan, 49, of 1811 Crosby Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from on or about Aug. 13, 2014, and continuing until on or about Sept. 3, 2014, Kerkan received images and videos containing material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for April 30, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Kerkan.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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