PITTSBRUGH - A resident of Blawnox, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Michael Marlette, age 55, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that, on April 19, 2018, Marlette possessed images and videos in computer graphic files, the production of which involved the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, some of whom had not yet attained 12 years of age.
Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for Jan. 4, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. The law provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 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 Mark V. Gurzo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
Homeland Security Investigations, with the assistance of the Blawnox Police Department, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Marlette.
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.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania