The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Todd Kowar, age 24, Kidder Township, Carbon County, was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Scranton on charges of producing child pornography and possessing child pornography.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the grand jury alleges that Kowar persuaded and induced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing images of such conduct. The indictment alleges that Kowar committed the crimes between 2008 and December 2012.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and Kidder Township Police.

Kowar faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison if he is convicted of the production of child pornography charge; and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if he is convicted of the possession of child pornography charge.

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 Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.