Westmoreland County Man Indicted on Child Sexual Exploitation Charges

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Derry, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges involving the sexual exploitation of minors, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

The nine-count Indictment, returned on March 29 and unsealed yesterday, named Michael Wilson, age 43, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, on seven separate occasions during 2019 through May 15, 2021, Wilson attempted to and did use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce various minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct.  Further, the Indictment alleges that from September 2019 to October 2019, Wilson distributed visual depictions, namely, images in computer graphic and digital files, the production of which involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and, on May 15, 2021, Wilson knowingly possessed visual depictions, namely, videos and images in computer graphic and digital files, the production of which involved the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 15 years and up to life imprisonment, a fine of $2,500,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.  Indicate relevant bond/detention information if known

Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Homeland Security Investigations – Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Derry Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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.justice.gov/psc.