Photo sharing nets Warren man sex offender status

A Warren man will be required to register as a sexual offender for the next 15 years as a result of a sentence handed down for the possession of child pornography.

Tyler G. Kraft was before President Judge Maureen Skerda for sentencing on Friday.

State police write in the affidavit of probable cause that Kraft on March 4, 2019, “had also indicated to his juvenile probation officer there was at least one naked picture of a juvenile female on his cell phone that he knew was under the age of 18.”

Police and probation staff met with the county’s IT department the next day “regarding the extraction of numerous pornographic images extracted from” Kraft’s cell phone. “A review of the extracted pornographic images revealed three specific images in which a partial or full face of the suspected juvenile was able to be seen and possibly identified.”

The affidavit states two of the photographs appeared to be the same individual.

Police, according to the affidavit, proceeded to interview the juveniles, who are now 17 and 18 years old, respectively.

“During the interviews … (the juveniles) confirmed the photographs were of them, both also confirmed they had taken the pictures when they were 14 years old,” the affidavit states. “Both indicated they knew (Kraft) but had never dated him, nor had either had much conversation or contact with him.”

The juveniles could not “provide how (Kraft) had obtained the photographs of them, though both indicated they had forwarded the photographs several years ago when they took them.”

His attorney, Joan Fairchild, told Skerda on Friday that it was the girls that disseminated the photographs.

“He has been cooperative with the authorities regarding this matter,” she said, asking the court for electronic monitoring so he can continue to work.

Citing his “very low” risk assessment score, Fairchild said she is concerned about Kraft’s ability to continue to live with his parents with minors in the home. She asked the court for a “declaration” to permit him to remain there.

Skerda asked about a prior statutory sexual assault conviction in Kraft’s record and Fairchild said he “fulfilled” the requirements from that order.

Assistant District Attorney Tatiana Malys took exception to Fairchild’s comments “that blame 14-year-old girls” and asked for a no contact order in the case.

Kraft acknowledged he did possess the photographs but said he “didn’t ask for them.”

Sent to him on Messenger, Kraft said that he knows keeping them was wrong and apologized.

Prior to handing down the sentence, Skerda reminded him that this is effectively his last chance in the criminal justice system.

She declined to make any recommendation regarding where he lives.

Skerda sentenced Kraft to five years restrictive probation including 114 days incarceration with 114 days credit for time served and six months house arrest with the rest on probation, $2,175 in fines and fees, a no contact order, 60 hours of community service, submission of a DNA sample and individual sex offender counseling on a felony count of child pornography.

Skerda advised Kraft he is now a Tier I sexual offender, which means he will have to register with the Pennsylvania State Police for the next 15 years.


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