Pennsylvania Man Sentenced to 14 Months in Prison for Possession of Child Pornography
WASHINGTON—Austin Santee, 22, of Shippensburg, Pa., was sentenced today to 14 months in prison for possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Andre w G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Santee pled guilty to the charge in May 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable James E. Boasberg. Upon completion of his prison term, Santee will be placed on five years of supervised release. He also must register as a sex offender for a minimum of 15 years. During his supervised release, Santee is subject to monitoring of computer and Internet use and restrictions on contact with minors. He also must undergo sex offender testing and treatment.
According to the government’s evidence, on Feb. 18, 2014, Santee contacted an undercover officer with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, who had posted an ad on a website known to be frequented by individuals who have a sexual interest in children. Over the next few days, Santee engaged in text message conversations with the undercover officer, whom the defendant believed was the father of an under-aged girl. During the course of their communications, Santee sent the undercover officer approximately eight images depicting child pornography. Law enforcement subsequently obtained a warrant for Santee’s arrest and apprehended him on Feb. 27, 2014. Pursuant to a search of Santee’s cellular telephone, law enforcement discovered the images depicting child pornography that were sent to the undercover officer, along with approximately 230 unique files depicting child pornography.
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. Project Safe Childhood is 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 U.S. 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 those who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge McCabe, and Chief Lanier praised the work of the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassidy Kesler Pinegar, who prosecuted the case.