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Former Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission worker pleads guilty to producing child pornography

| Saturday, April 5, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A former Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission worker from Fayette County pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to a charge of producing child pornography, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Lisa A. Renze, 48, of Uniontown entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer. Renze is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 1.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch said that between 2009 and 2011, Renze persuaded a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct while she took photos.

Court documents indicate the photos were given to “her friend and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission co-worker” John S. Longo, 57, of Hempfield.

Longo's indictment by a federal grand jury on eight counts of producing, distributing, receiving and conspiring to produce images of child pornography between June 5, 2009, and Nov. 12, 2010, was announced last month by federal officials.

Longo, who retired from the turnpike's maintenance department prior to his indictment, could be sentenced to a maximum of 140 years in prison, a fine of $2 million or both, officials said.

Renze, who remains free on bond, faces a sentence of not less than 15 and up to 30 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both, according to sentencing guidelines.

The cases are being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative started in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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