Tara Ponceroff, 26, of Morgantown had her initial appearance in court on Wednesday to face multiple child pornography charges, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced via a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ponceroff is accused of producing and distributing child pornography involving two children from November 2017 to January 2018 in Monongalia County, the statement says.
According to the statement, on August 6, 2018 Ponceroff was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Wheeling on one count of production of child pornography, one count of aiding and abetting production of child pornography, and two counts of transportation of child pornography.
Ponceroff is facing up to 30 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the production and aiding/abetting production counts, the statement says.
According to the statement, his case is being prosecuted as part of ‘Project Safe Childhood’, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. ‘Project Safe Childhood’ is led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information on ‘Project Safe Childhood’, visit their website here.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Perri is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government and the West Virginia State Police investigated, the statement says.