Man Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Exploitation Charges

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ERIE, PA — A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced.

Kenneth L. Blanks, 41, pleaded guilty on September 21, 2022, to two counts before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Blanks received and possessed computer images and movies depicting prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for Jan. 30, 2023, at 1:00 pm. The law provides for a total sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Blanks on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the Erie Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Blanks.

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