Pittsburgh, PA

Registered Sex Offender Convicted of Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material

Hunt County Theft Reports

A Pittsburgh man has been convicted by a federal jury today for the possession of modified child sexual abuse material (CSAM) involving child celebrities. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, and Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall of the FBI Pittsburgh Field Office.

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Photo byHCTR

According to court documents and evidence presented during the trial, James Smelko, 56, of Pittsburgh, was found to have possessed images that had digitally altered faces of child actors superimposed onto nude bodies and bodies engaged in sexual acts. These pictures were found at Smelko's residence in Pittsburgh, and were discovered by law enforcement officials during a search of his computer. As a result, Smelko was charged with possession of CSAM. While awaiting trial, it was revealed that Smelko had violated his conditions of release by once again possessing such images. This violation came to light when court-mandated monitoring software detected concerning searches and images on his cell phone.

Smelko has been found guilty by the jury for two charges of possessing explicit material involving minors. He is set to receive his sentence on March 28, 2024, and could potentially face a maximum incarceration period of 40 years. The final decision on his punishment will be made by a federal district court judge, who will take into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other legal factors before reaching a verdict.


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