SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Dec. 5 that Michael Bonsignore, age 45, of Dingmans Ferry, Pike County, was sentenced Tuesday in Scranton by United States District Court Judge Edwin M Kosik to 300 months (25 years) imprisonment and supervised release for life for producing child pornography.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Bonsignore was charged in May 2011 with producing videos and other images containing child pornography and then distributing them over the internet at various times between March 2007 through April 2011.
The victims of the child pornography videos were discovered in Sweden and identified. A forensic examination of Bonsignore’s computer revealed additional images of alleged child pornography received and possessed by Bonsignore.
Bonsignore pleaded guilty in February 2012.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about internet safety education, please visit click on the tab "resources.""Sexually exploiting children is a crime that has long-lasting traumatic effects on the most vulnerable members of our society," said John P. Kelleghan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE--HSI in Philadelphia, at the time of the plea . "HSI and its law enforcement partners work tirelessly to investigate child predators who seek to sexually exploit innocent children and bring them to justice."
The charges against Bonsignore stemmed from an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police Computer Crimes Unit and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations(HIS), with the assistance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
An ICE tip to Swedish law enforcement led to the discovery of unidentified victims of child pornography which originated in Pennsylvania. From that information the PSP and HSI were able to identify the victims. A forensic analysis of Bonsignore's computer enabled HSI agents to arrest him on April 21, 2011.
Special agents and PSP investigators in Pennsylvania also developed leads in the case which led to the arrest by ICE agents in San Diego of a El Cajon, Calif., preschool teacher on child pornography charges.
Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski prosecuted the Bonsignore case.