Erie Man Pleads to Child Sexual Exploitation Charge
ERIE, PA (STL.News) A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Cody A. Neely, 33, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Stephanie L. Haines.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from May 2019 to October 2019, Neely received computer images and movies depicting prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. A forensic examination of Neely’s digital devices revealed thousands of items of child sexual abuse material.
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 (CEOS), 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.
Judge Haines scheduled sentencing for December 7, 2021 at 11:00 a.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 Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Neely.