A Jeannette man was taken from a federal courtroom in handcuffs today after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the production of child pornography.
John S. Longo, 58, faces a mandatory minimum 15-year prison term when U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer sentences him, set for Jan. 22.
The investigation of the retired Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission maintenance worker began in Michigan, where investigators found sexual photos of a Fayette County girl, according to assistant U.S. attorney Carolyn Bloch. The Pennsylvania State Police and Department of Homeland Security found the girl, interviewed her, and conducted two searches, including one of Mr. Longo's residence.
Investigators concluded that the photos were taken by another former Turnpike employee, Lisa A. Renze, 49, of Uniontown, and emailed to Mr. Longo. Ms. Renze pleaded guilty in April and awaits sentencing.
Ms. Bloch said that from 2009 through 2010, when the girl was under the age of 16, Ms. Renze took increasingly explicit photos of her and emailed them to Mr. Longo. He then shared them with others, and entertained the idea of seeking payment for made-to-order images of the girl, according to Ms. Bloch.
Judge Fischer said that given the long mandatory minimum sentence, Mr. Longo would have to be incarcerated immediately, given that he could be "a danger, perhaps, to himself." She declined his attorney's request that he be allowed to spend Labor Day weekend with family.
Mr. Longo wept as he was handcuffed by U.S. marshals, and called out "I love you" to four supporters, two of whom were also crying.
Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.