A Chester County married couple was sentenced to 10 years in prison related to child pornography. Daryl and Shannon Maness lured several teenage girls in a classic case called 'grooming.'
According to US Attorney Ed Stanton, ‘grooming' is "getting the minors in a position where they felt befriended, and in a trusting position, and ultimately to take pictures of themselves in a very explicit manner."
The pair took the girls on outings, allowed them to stay overnight at their house, and bought gifts, like cellphones. Within six months, the Maness' had pressured the girls to take sexually explicit photos of themselves and send them to the couple's phone.
Stanton says there's an uptick, in child sexual predators hiding behind technology.
"When these pics are exploited over the internet, once they're out there in the public domain, you can't take that back. Every time one of these exploitations of children is out there and someone sees it, they're victimized over and over again, so any one of these is one too many," says Stanton.
Judge Mayes questioned whether the ten year plea agreement was severe enough for the planned crimes, due to the sexual abuse of the teenagers. In fact, the couple is even serving time for raping one of the victims. However, all of the victims pushed to accept the plea deal, to avoid a trial in this case.
"You have individuals who are sick, commit reprehensible acts, unconscionable acts, and their whole goal is to prey upon individuals who are vulnerable, such as children."
The pair was caught after two of the girls left the Maness' sleepover, got lost, called 911 and spilled the truth about the predators. But, by then, the girls already were introduced to early sexual activity. Two of the victims have since become teenage mothers.
After their prison sentence, the Maness' will each serve 15 years of supervised release, and register as sex offenders.