PITTSBURGH – United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today the formation of the United States Attorney’s Project Safe Childhood Task Force to focus on protecting children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
"The number of technology-facilitated sexual crimes against children continues to grow," stated U.S. Attorney Brady. "By establishing the United States Attorney’s Project Safe Childhood Task Force, with six experienced federal prosecutors dedicated to the protection of children, we are able to focus our resources on locating, apprehending and prosecuting pedophiles and predators who seek to exploit children."
The United States Attorney’s Project Safe Childhood Task Force is headed by Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan, who has been named as the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator. U.S. Attorney Brady noted, "Assistant U.S. Attorney Grogan has prosecuted crimes against children as both a state and federal prosecutor. She has a breadth of experience and a strong commitment to these cases that will serve her well in this new role." Task Force members include Asst. U.S. Attorneys Carolyn J. Bloch, Lee J. Karl, Shanicka L. Kennedy, Soo C. Song and Christy C. Wiegand. These prosecutors will be responsible for using the weight of the federal justice system against these offenders, where stronger sentences and harsher penalties exist for sexual predators.
U.S. Attorney Brady commended the work of Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar, who has been the coordinator of the office’s crimes against children cases since 2012. "AUSA Smolar’s hard work and dedication on these challenging cases has provided us with an excellent road map for moving forward," U.S. Attorney Brady said. AUSA Smolar will now focus her work on international cybercrime and national security.
"As United States Attorney and as a father, there is nothing more important to me than keeping our children safe. This new Project Safe Childhood Task Force will ensure that children are protected from the horrors of sexual abuse and those who harm children will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," U.S. Attorney Brady added.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania