Judge Sentences Butler County Man to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Sexually Exploiting Minor Boys

PITTSBURGH – A Butler County resident convicted at trial in February on child exploitation charges has been sentenced in federal court to 30 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on James Mark Leroy, 55, of Renfrew, PA. Leroy was also ordered to pay a special assessment of $400, restitution of $25,000 and a fine of $125,000.

According to information presented at trial, Leroy, on two separate occasions, transported minor boys, aged 10 and 13, to Florida and Michigan with the intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct. During these trips, Leroy engaged in criminal sexual acts and plied the minor boys with alcohol and prescription pills. The government also presented evidence at trial and at sentencing that the defendant had historically sexually offended against two other victims when they were children between the age of 10 and 13.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Schwab remarked that the defendant “must serve a significant custodial sentence for this most reprehensible pattern of criminal conduct.” He also found that a sentence of less than 360 months would create sentencing disparities among others charged with similar crimes.

Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song and Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. In court, Acting U.S. Attorney Song emphasized the aggravated nature of the defendant’s crimes referring to “the sinister drugging and incapacitation of children, overtly and surreptitiously by crushing up pills and putting them on the food of a 10-year-old child.” Attorney Song credited the child survivors of the defendant’s crimes, “This defendant underestimated the will and courage of these boys to speak out, to speak up and their determination to make sure that he did not offend against other children.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Depart of Justice. Led by United States 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 via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Acting United States Attorney Song commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Butler County District Attorney’s Office and the Penn Township Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Leroy.

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