A Roanoke, Virginia man was sentenced to 360 months in prison today, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for enticement of a minor, receipt or attempted receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen for the Western District of Virginia made the announcement.
Scott Curtiss Pieritz, 57, pleaded guilty on June 19, before Chief U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski of the Western District of Virginia to one count of enticement of a minor, one count of receipt or attempted receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
According to court documents, in July 2017, law enforcement agents were notified that Pieritz, who had a duty to register as a sex offender as a result of three prior child pornography convictions, was using social media applications to communicate with minors and ask them for nude images of themselves. Forensic examination of Pieritz’s electronic devices seized pursuant to a search warrant confirmed that he was in possession of numerous images and videos of child pornography, had used applications such as Omegle and Musical.ly to entice minors to produce and send him child pornography, and had posed as a minor online. At times, Pieritz also exchanged money and gifts for child pornography images from minors. At the time of his arrest, Pieritz was employed as a cashier and dishwasher at K&W Cafeteria, in Roanoke.
The case was investigated by the Virginia State Police. Trial Attorney Nadia Prinz of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Healey of the Western District of Virginia prosecuted the case.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc.