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Child Exploitation

Pennsylvania man sentenced to 12 years in prison for coercing and enticing a minor to perform in an online sex show

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania man was sentenced May 28 to serve 12 years in prison for coercing and enticing a minor and possessing child pornography. The sentence is the result of an extensive worldwide investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Jeffrey W. Herschell, 54, of Washington, Pa., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Stewart Cercone in the Western District of Pennsylvania. According to court documents, Herschell sent money to the Philippines in February 2010 for a live, online sex show that included a 12-year-old minor female engaging in sexual activity. Herschell also admitted to possessing child pornography videos at his Pennsylvania residence.

"This investigation has exposed the disturbing truth concerning those individuals who believe they can victimize children abroad and not be held accountable in America for their very disturbing actions" said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "HSI and its international law enforcement partners around the world stand vigilant against this heinous crime. This case is yet another example of the extraordinary law enforcement work that is being done to protect the most vulnerable among us."

This case was investigated by HSI Philadelphia and HSI Manila, Philippines, with significant assistance from the National Bureau of Investigation (Philippines) and the Philippine National Police.

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.