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WASHINGTON - John Bigley, 75, of New Castle, Pennsylvania, has pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Joining in the announcement were David J. Hickton, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office; Michael A. Rodriguez, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Pittsburgh Division, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Bigley entered the guilty plea on November 29, 2011 before the Honorable Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for March 30, 2012.
According to a factual proffer of evidence presented during the court proceeding, between June 28, 2011, and July 19, 2011, an MPD member of the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, who was operating undercover, communicated with the defendant by e-mail and telephone. During the course of the communications, Bigley expressed interest in meeting an under-aged girl and engaging in sexual contact with the child. On July 18, 2011, and July 19, 2011, Bigley traveled from New Castle, Pennsylvania, where he lived, to a pre-arranged meeting place in Washington, D.C. When he arrived at the meeting time and place, he was arrested.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the FBI's Pittsburgh Field Office provided assistance in the case.
Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov .
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, U.S. Attorney Hickton, Assistant Director McJunkin, Special Agent in Charge Rodriguez, and Chief Lanier praised the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended the work of U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Investigator John Marsh. Finally, they praised the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shaun Sweeney and David B. Kent, who are prosecuting this case.
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