PITTSBURGH – A former resident of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of sex trafficking of a child, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
Ronald Kyle Hartman, 28, of New Castle, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.
In connection with the guilty plea, from August 14, 2016, to August 16, 2016, Hartman knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained and maintained by any means, in and affecting interstate commerce, a female minor under the age of 18 years, and did benefit financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture engaged in commercial sexual acts, knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact, and having had a reasonable opportunity to observe Minor A, that Minor A had not attained the age of 18 years and that Minor A would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act.
United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak scheduled sentencing for December 7, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release for any term of years not less than five, and up to life, 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 defendants.
Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Grove City Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Hartman.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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 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 better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania