Lebanon Man Charged With Child Pornography Offenses

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HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Michael Rankin, age 34, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was indicted on February 23, 2022, by a federal grand jury for sexually exploiting children, distributing child pornography, and possessing child pornography. 

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, the indictment alleges that between June 2021 and August 2021, Rankin induced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing images of that conduct.  The indictment also alleges that Rankin distributed child pornography in August 2021 and possessed child pornography in October 2021. 

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlo D. Marchioli is prosecuting the case.

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.”

If convicted, the maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is 60 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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