HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania couple on Thursday was convicted in federal court on child pornography charges following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Michael Strausbaugh, 30, and his wife Rebecca Strausbaugh, 31, were both charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Michael Strausbaugh was also charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.
The charges stemmed from an investigation and arrest of a Canadian individual who received a sexually explicit image of an infant less than one year old from Michael Strausbaugh. Testimony at trial established that the Strausbaughs had the infant engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions or photographs on at least four separate occasions. Michael Strausbaugh then distributed these images over the Internet.
"Child predators commit unspeakable acts that often do irreparable harm and rob the innocent of their innocence," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "Left on the streets, predators could, and do, victimize their communities time and time again. HSI will not tolerate this criminal activity and will work tirelessly to bring child predators to justice."
Evidence presented at trial showed that during the time that the images were taken, Michael Strausbaugh was on probation on state charges of indecent assault on a minor. His wife had taken classes at TRIAD Treatment Specialists to serve as Michael Strausbaugh's approved supervisor to monitor his interaction with children to ensure his compliance with the conditions of his probation.
Michael Strausbaugh faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum of 180 years imprisonment. Rebecca Strausbaugh faces a 15-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a maximum of 75 years imprisonment.
A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
Law enforcement partners participating in the investigation included the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Adams County Sheriff's Department.