PITTSBURGH – A resident of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of production and attempted production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, receipt of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The five-count Indictment, returned on June 3, 2020, named Joey Leroy Barton, age 49, of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.
According to the Indictment, from February 18, 2019 until on or about November 10, 2019, Barton coerced and induced a child victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct and, on March 28, 2019 and on April 10, 2019, Barton received digital images depicting the sexual exploitation of the minor.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than life in prison, a fine of $1,250,000 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.
Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, the Roseville (Minnesota) Police Department, and the North Strabane Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this 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.justice.gov/psc.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.