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Fulton County man indicted on federal child pornography charges

HARRISBURG — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Friday that a Fulton County man was indicted on federal child pornography charges.

Clay Aaron Rasp, 32, of McConnellsburg, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 6 and is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab on Dec. 21 for arraignment, according to U.S. Attorney David J. Freed.

The indictment alleges that Rasp possessed and distributed child pornography between January and July of this year. The indictment also alleges that Rasp produced a morphed image of child pornography.

The Lower Heidelberg Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Schinnour 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.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years of 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.