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Man gets 22 years in prison in child porn case that caused girl's suicide

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

A Maryland man has been sentenced in a 2013 child pornography case that resulted in a Pennsylvania teen's suicide, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Marc Punzalan, 27, of Maryland, was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release after he coerced a 13-year-old girl to send him nude photographs of herself.

Over the span of two days, Punzalan sent hundreds of messages to the child, including attempting to extort the victim into sending additional nude images by threatening to tell her parents and the police about the photos she had sent earlier, according to the DOJ.

"Punzalan continued to harass and blackmail her despite her repeated requests for him to stop," a news release reads. "Punzalan continued to threaten her even after she told him that his demands had her contemplating suicide."

On the second day of Punzalan’s threats and harassment, the 13-year-old killed herself after becoming overwhelmingly emotionally distraught. 

This wasn't the first time Punzalan had harmed children. He committed similar acts against other young girls at the same time in Maryland, where he was living at the time, according to the DOJ.

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After hearing several family and friend testimonials to support the victim, Chief Judge Matthew W. Brann, of the MIddle District of Pennsylvania, called Punzalan’s actions “sickening” and said Punzalan’s predatory behavior caused irreparable harm.

Currently, Punzalan is serving a sentence from the District of Maryland for child sexual exploitation offenses. The 267-month sentence imposed by Brann will result in an overall sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment for him, the DOJ reported.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.