(STL.News) – A resident of Waterford, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The three-count Indictment named John Douglas Root, Jr., 27, as the sole defendant.
According to the Indictment presented to the court, from April 2017 to March 2018, Root received, distributed and possessed computer and cell phone images depicting prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses 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 leading to the Indictment in this case. 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.