York man pleaded guilty to child pornography

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The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Michael Charles Clarke, 43, of York pleaded guilty on November 15, before Senior Judge Sylvia Rambo in Harrisburg to production, possession and transportation of child pornography.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, between 2010 and 2015, Clarke sexually assaulted a minor child on multiple occasions and videoed that abuse. Clarke was arrested by the Southwestern Regional Police Department on Sept. 26, 2015 and charged with rape of a child and associated offenses. When Clarke’s home was searched, multiple computers, hard drives, thumb drives and CDs were seized. The Federal Bureau of Investigation forensically examined this evidence and discovered that Clarke had downloaded and saved child pornography images on a number of the devices. Further investigation revealed that in 2010, Clarke transported images of child pornography across state lines, from Iowa to Pennsylvania.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Southwestern Regional police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith A. Taylor.

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.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statues and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and the maximum penalty under federal law is 70 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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.

Source: United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Middle District of Pennsylvania