Cherry Man Sentenced to 33 Years on Child Porn Charges

A Cherry man will spend the next 33 years behind bars for producing child pornography. 

42-year-old Sean Penoncello was convicted in September of two counts of Producing Child Pornography and one count of Possessing Child Pornography.  

During an unrelated investigation, authorities recovered thousands of images and hundreds of videos depicting child pornography from two computers at a home in Ohio.    The images were submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and traced back to Penoncello’s home in Cherry. 

Police say the images were taken on or around September 15, 2012.   Several pictures were discovered on Penoncello’s iPhone. Police executed a search warrant and recovered two hidden thumb drives and a secret recording device in his truck. 

According to the court documents, two minor children and a parent visited Penoncello’s home near Cherry.  The two children were left alone with him. One of the children was in the photos.  

“Penoncello is a predator,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Provinzino, “Not only did he commit a series of heinous crimes against women and children, be he also showed not one iota of remorse to his victims, including a 5-year-old girl entrusted to his car. The long sentence handed down today is warranted.”

The case was a result of a joint investigation between the FBI and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, Virginia police Department and Eveleth Police Dept. 

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