JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A resident of Cambria County, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty today in federal court to a charge of production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Steven L. Brock, 32, of Cresson, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count before Senior U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
“The men and women of federal, state and local law enforcement work tirelessly to protect our children from predators and pedophiles,” stated U.S. Attorney Brady. “Today, one such predator who produced child pornography was brought to justice, and will spend decades in federal prison for his crimes. I want to thank Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer for his significant assistance in this successful prosecution.”
“Thanks to a cooperative effort between local, state, and federal authorities, a dangerous predator has been brought to justice, and our community is safer,” said Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer. “The facts of this case are deeply disturbing, and the outcome demonstrates that there is zero tolerance when children are exploited. Thank you to the United States Attorney’s office for their work in this matter, and I look forward to continuing a partnership which ensures the highest possible levels of justice for victims and their families.”
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on or about May 1, 2016, to on or about July 31, 2018, Brock produced images of a minor female (Minor A) engaged in sexually explicit conduct using materials that were shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. The case began in December 2018 when the victim’s mother contacted Pennsylvania State Police and reported her daughter, Minor A, disclosed that she had been sexually assaulted. Following a forensic interview with Minor A, PSP troopers obtained a search warrant and seized several electronic devices from Brock’s residence. PSP troopers and, subsequently, agents from the Department of Homeland Security Investigations conducted a forensic examination of the devices and identified 16 images that depict Minor A engaged in “sexually explicit conduct.” Several images of Minor A found on Brock’s devices matched those described by Minor A during her forensic interview.
Judge Gibson set sentencing for May 26, 2021 at 10 a.m. The law provides for a mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment and a statutory maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court ordered the defendant remain detained.
Assistant United States Attorney Arnold P. Bernard, Jr., is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The U.S. Immigration, Customs & Enforcement (ICE)/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Pennsylvania State Police 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, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better 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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