Image Source: capitalbay.com
Image Source: capitalbay.com
CHICAGO – A former security guard and insurance broker was sentenced on May 28, 2013 to 12 years in prison by Judge David Stewart Cercone of the U.S. District Court in Pittsburg, Western Pennsylvania for coercing and enticing a minor Filipino child into doing sex acts for pornographic videos and for possessing child pornographic films.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Leiber Smolar told this reporter over the phone that American Jeffrey W. Herschell, 54, will be placed under lifetime supervised release and will be registered as a sex offender. He will also pay $200 special assessment.

[box type=”default” size=”large”] For luring a Filipino girl into doing sex acts for porn video [/box]

There is no parole for Herschell, a native of Washington, Pennsylvania. Out on bail but with electronic
monitoring device attached to him, Herschell was ordered to report to federal prisons on or before Aug. 30, this year.

Herschell’s defense lawyer, Assistant Federal Public Defender Jay J. Finkelstein, could not be reached for comment. Court documents show that Herschell, who is suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) that causes him a hard time to breath, and other health conditions like sleep apnea and high blood pressure and artificial hip, had agreed to 144 months (12 years) in prison in a plea agreement he had signed a week before the sentencing.

During his arraignment on Jan. 24, 2012, Herschell pleaded not guilty. He was initially charged with Count 1 for possession of materials depicting sexual exploitation of a minor on or about March 14, 2011 that could have landed him a 10-year sentence.

He was also indicted with Count 2 for production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor in or around February, 2010. Herschell was likewise indicted with Count 3 for receipt of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor in or around February 2010. Herschell’s home was searched in March 2011 after a man in the Philippines was arrested on charges he had recruited and paid poor minor girls to perform sex acts in front of a webcam at an internet café in the Philippines. He also admitted possessing child pornography videos in his residence.

There were 31 videos, depicting girls seven or 11 years olds, found in Herschell’s computer and other media storages that were later confiscated from Herschell.

Herschell had acknowledged having paid money to view live sex acts of a minor in the Philippines by paying to PayPal, which allows money transfer through Internet, in February 2010. The live sex acts showed a 12-year-old girl engaging in sexual activity.

At the sentencing, Herschell did not make any statement nor apologize before the judge. He was accompanied by two men and his lawyer, Attorney Finkelstein, during his sentencing.

The prosecution of the case was supervised by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David J. Hickton; and Special Agent in Charge John Kelleghan of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Philadelphia.

Attorney Smolar was assisted by Trial Attorney Bonnie L. Kane of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).

This case was investigated by ICE-HSI Pittsburgh and ICE-HSI Attache’s Office in the Philippines with assistance by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police.

This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide drive to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. The drive was launched in May, 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood taps federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

People who want to know more information about Project Safe Childhood may visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Joseph is a former reporter of the Manila Bulletin, former president of the Rizal-Metro Manila Reporters Association and former president of the Chicago chapter of the National Press Club of the Philippines. A native of Sorsogon, Philippines, he and his family now live in Chicago. A prolific reporter, Lariosa writes a column and news stories for the Filipino Star News and other Filipino community newspapers in the US as well as for GMA News and the Manila Bulletin.

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