Williamson Daily News

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A South Carolina man admitted in federal court Friday that he knowingly produced and received child pornography.

Jonathan Edward Manigault, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography and one count of knowingly receiving child pornography, before U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell.

Manigault admitted he directed Christina B. Mitchell, of Pike County, to take photographs of a 3-year-old victim engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Manigault provided Mitchell with specific, detailed instructions on what types of explicit photographs to produce and provide.

According to the plea agreement, Mitchell transmitted the photographs of the minor to Manigault using the Facebook Messenger application. After receipt, Manigualt had Mitchell agree to produce additional images of underage victims.

Manigault and Mitchell were indicted Oct. 24, 2018.

Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography on Aug. 26, 2019. According to her plea agreement, Mitchell produced sexually explicit images of a 3-year-old and 8-year-old victims.

"Protecting children from this unconscionable conduct is of the utmost importance to all law enforcement," said United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr.

"The defendant's guilty plea today, and his co-defendant's guilty plea in August, ensure that they will not have the opportunity to victimize other innocent children. I commend the efforts of law enforcement for their work in removing these dangerous individuals from our streets."

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and James Robert Brown, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Louisville Field Division, jointly announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI. The U.S. Attorney's Office was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna E. Reed.

Mitchell's and Manigault's sentencing hearings are scheduled for Dec. 16 in Pikeville. Mitchell faces up to 60 years in prison, and Manigault faces up to 50 years in prison.

Both defendants face a maximum fine of $250,000. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.

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