Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Six men indicted for crimes related to child pornography or child exploitation


Six people were indicted in federal court for crimes related to child pornography or child exploitation.

Indicted are Jason Warner, 27, of Massillon; Austin Lloyd, 31, of Ravenna; Nicholas Snyder, 36, of Wooster; Andrew Pitts, 36, of Youngstown; Justin McKnight, 36, of North Canton, and Allen Bernhardt, 30, of Canton. Their cases are not otherwise related.

Warner was charged with transporting visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Warner in October 2016 used a computer to transport numerous computer files which contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to the indictment.

Lloyd was charged with receiving, distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He knowingly received and distributed numerous computer files between 2015 and 2018 which contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Lloyd possessed a cellular phone on June 7 which contained child pornography, according to the indictment.

Snyder was charged with receiving, distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In June 2017, Snyder knowingly received and distributed numerous computer files which contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Snyder on July 18, 2017, also possessed a cellular phone which contained child pornography, according to the indictment.

Pitts was charged with enticement. The Indictment charges from around Feb. 25-26, 2018, Pitts did knowingly use facilities and means of interstate and foreign commerce, that is, a cell phone, to attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years, that is, a 12-year-old boy to engage in illegal sexual activity with him, according to the indictment.

McKnight was charged with receiving, distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The Indictment charges that from Jan. through March 30, 2018, McKnight knowingly received and distributed numerous computer files which contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment also charges that on or about April 24, 2018, Richards possessed a Samsung cellphone and an HP Blue laptop computer that contained child pornography.

Bernhardt was charged with receiving, distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The Indictment charges from Dec. 29, 2017 through March 22, 2018, Bernhardt knowingly received and distributed numerous computer files which  contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment also charges that on or about March 23, 2018, Bernhardt possessed a Motorola Droid cell phone that contained child pornography.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael A. Sullivan and Carole Skutnik following investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

No comments: