Mt. Morris Man Charged in Child Pornography Case
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Patrick Welch, 57, of Mt. Morris, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography. In this case, possession of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a fine of $250,000. Receipt and/or distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on May 13, 2013, the Livingston County Sheriff's Office received a lead from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office concerning a potential child exploitation case. A Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigator received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that two individuals appeared to be chatting about and trading child pornography on the internet site tagged.com. Both individuals purported to be teenaged boys. One of the individuals chatting used the screen name "David D" who provided an email address.
A search warrant was executed on the provided email account and several images of child pornography were found. The internet protocol address for "David D" was registered to Welch's address on Scipio Road in Mt. Morris. After a search warrant was executed at Welch's residence this morning, a forensic preview of one of Welch's computers was conducted and several images of child pornography were found.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, the Livingston County Sheriff's Office under the direction of Undersheriff Jim Szczesniak and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, under the direction of Sheriff Leroy D. Baca.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.