Indiana County man pleads guilty to sexual exploitation

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A Blairsville man pleaded guilty today to sexual exploitation of a minor and faces a sentence of as much as 30 years in prison.

Charles Joseph Payson, 45, was identified by through an investigation of online child pornography file sharing by Indiana County Office of the District Attorney detective Robert Erdely. A search of Mr. Payson's home revealed a computer drive that included images of an adult exposing a seven-year-old child's genitals while the child was sleeping, and also video of the child urinating, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo Song.

"He admitted to producing those images and videos," said Ms. Song.

For that, he faces 15 to 30 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer plans to sentence him on March 21.

Assistant federal public defender Tom Livingston reserved the right to appeal the issue of whether a sleeping child can engage in sexual acts. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently found that a sleeping child can be found to have engaged in sex acts.

Mr. Payson remains in jail pending sentencing.

Rich Lord:, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord


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