New Castle News

Closer Look

July 10, 2013

County man sentenced for child sex crimes

NEW CASTLE — A Lawrence County man has been sentenced in federal court on his conviction of child exploitation crimes.

Patrick Joseph Kofalt, 56, was sentenced to 235 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Kofalt, formerly of 1157 Moravia Road, Enon Valley.

According to information presented to the court, on or about Dec. 2, 2009, Kofalt received, possessed and accessed material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. He pleaded guilty to one count against him.

Fischer specifically found credible the accounts of vulnerable child victims who reported years of sexual offending by Kofalt and found Kofalt to be a serious threat to children.

Soo C. Song, assistant U.S. attorney, prosecuted this case. In connection with the sentencing, Song presented evidence that disclosures by a 6-year-old child in 2009 prompted the seizure of more than 1,000 images of child pornography, which had been carefully encrypted and saved by Kofalt in computer files.

Three additional sexual assault victims of Kofalt were eventually identified by law enforcement.

Hickton commended the FBI, together with the Pennsylvania State Police, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Kofalt.

The 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 U.S. 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.

More information is available by visiting: www.justice.gov/psc.

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