FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment on Sept. 24 against Andrew James Sarnowski, 22, of Rosamond, charging him with separate counts of production of child pornography and distribution of child pornography, and two additional counts of receipt of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Sarnowski produced multiple videos depicting the sexual abuse of a minor less than a year of age and shared them online through an encrypted social media application.
Pursuant to a search of his residence, additional electronic devices belonging to Sarnowski were identified and found to contain hundreds of additional child pornography files, including those depicting pre-pubescent boys and girls being sexually abused.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Bakersfield, Lancaster, Ventura and Los Angeles Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian W. Enos is prosecuting the case.
If convicted Sarnowski faces the following:
— For production of child pornography, a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
— For distribution of child pornography charge or either of the two receipt of child pornography charges, a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
The court will determine the final sentence should and once a conviction is made, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
"The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," the U.S. Attorney's office stated.
The case was brought against Sarnowski due to the involvement 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.