PITTSBURGH, PA – A former Beaver County resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of distribution and possession of images depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The eighteen-count indictment, returned on July 24, named Brent Cotman, 32, formerly of Rochester, Pennsylvania.
According to the indictment presented to the court, Cotman distributed images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, some of whom had not reached the age of 12 years, to seventeen individuals on separate occasions between January 2017 and November 2017. The indictment further charges that on February 1, 2018, Cotman unlawfully possessed still images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 5 years or more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $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 Carolyn Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office 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.