CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Mark Sassak, Jr., of Monessen, Pennsylvania, was found guilty today of charges involving a minor, United States Attorney William J, Ihlenfeld, II announced.
After a three-day trial, Sassak, 37, was found guilty of one count of “Travel to Engage in Sexual Activity with a Minor” and one count of “Possession of Child Pornography.” Sassak began talking with who he believed to be a 15-year-old female through a social media app. That conversation continued through text messages on his cell phone for several weeks. Sassak then asked for an in-person meeting to have sex with the 15-year-old. Sassak then drove from his home in Pennsylvania to a location in Bridgeport, West Virginia in October 2020 for said meeting, where law enforcement arrested him. When a search of Sassak’s cell phone was done, officers found child pornographic video.
“Protecting children is one of the most important things that we do as federal prosecutors. Thanks to the hard work of the trial team from the U.S. Attorney’s office and the excellent investigation by the Bridgeport Police Department, a dangerous predator has been convicted and young people in our community are safer as a result.”
Sassak faces up to 30 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the travel charge ad faces up to 10 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the pornography charge. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Perri and Jennifer t. Conklin prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Bridgeport Police Department investigated.
U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh presided.
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