Man who stalked Amish children gets 11 years for child pornography
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pennsylvania man already convicted in state court for stalking Amish children near their school has been sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison for collecting hundreds of child pornography videos and images online.
U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak imposed the 11-year, three-month sentence against Lucas Klobetanz because of the “library nature” of the collection, which included categories of various types of images, notably “Boy Scouts,” described by prosecutors.
Hornak also noted that the Ellwood City man’s prior conviction for stalking made the unrelated pornography case, “in the court’s estimation, more serious.”
Klobetanz, a wiry, balding and bespectacled man, did not address the court before sentencing. His defense attorney, Philip Berezniak, didn’t contest the sentence and spoke little, beyond handing the judge a character reference letter from a friend of the family. Klobetanz’s elderly parents sat silently in the courtroom and, like their son’s attorney, didn’t comment after the hearing.
Klobetanz pleaded guilty to the porn distribution charge in February. He was charged after an undercover FBI agent received more than 50 computer porn files from Klobetanz. A raid of his home netted 640 videos and 229 still images of children involved in sex, mostly boys ages 2 and up, some involved in violent activity including bondage, Assistant U. S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar told the judge.
“It was a pretty significant collection … neatly organized into topics such as ‘Boy Scouts,'” she told the judge.
Smolar argued for a stiff sentence noting that the children depicted in Klobetanz’s collection continue to be victimized every time someone like him shares the images or videos on the internet.
She read victim impact statements from the mother of a child porn victim and another from a boy who was molested by his Scoutmaster and made to participate in some of the images Klobetanz traded online.
That victim’s written statement called the crimes “sick and unfathomable” and said, “To think that there are pictures being sent all over the country of me is devastating,” Smolar told the judge.
Federal law has since determined that victims of child pornography that is distributed can claim damages. One such victim came forward in Klobetanz’s case, and he’s agreed to pay that person $1,000 for a single image he shared of the boy online, Smolar said.
The Ellwood City man was sentenced to three months to two years in jail in December 2015 after pleading guilty to trying to lure children into an outhouse at the Ligo Amish School in Wilmington Township, Mercer County. Klobetanz originally claimed he merely needed help picking up toilet paper he had dropped.
Klobetanz was also indicted on the federal pornography charge in December 2015 and has been jailed ever since.