HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on September 30, 2020, Damion Phillip Gress, age 24, of Franklin County, was indicted by a federal grand jury for offenses involving the exploitation of minors.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Gress persuaded and used a minor to produce images of child pornography between August 2015 and October 2016 with respect to two separate victims. Gress is also alleged to have received images of child pornography during that time period and to have possessed images of child pornography on August 12, 2019. The four-count indictment also includes a notice of the Government’s intent to forfeit all images of child pornography and the electronic devices associated with those images.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant United States Attorney James T. Clancy is prosecuting the case.
Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The maximum penalty for use of a minor to produce child pornography is 30 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. That charge carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a term of supervised release after imprisonment. Receipt of child pornography carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, a $250,000 fine and a period of supervised release after imprisonment. Possession of child pornography carries a maximum 10-year prison term, a $250,000 fine and a period of supervised release after imprisonment. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
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