U.S. ATTORNEY CHARGES CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER WITH DISTRIBUTING AND POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND TRANSFERRING OBSCENE MATERIAL TO A MINOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday March 21, 2012
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations in New York (“HSI”), announced today charges against JONATHAN DELAURA for distributing child pornography over the Internet and possessing child pornography. DELAURA, who is registered as a sex offender, is also charged with sending obscene material to a 15-year-old boy through an Internet chat site. He was presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge George A. Yanthis in White Plains federal court and detained without bail.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara: “As alleged, this case underlines the urgent need for law enforcement to continue its efforts to protect children from those who prey on them over the Internet and endanger them. As today’s charges demonstrate, we will use every tool available to law enforcement to prosecute and punish those who allegedly possess and distribute child pornography.”
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes, Jr. stated:
“Sex offender laws are meant to protect children from being repeatedly victimized by individuals like Jonathan DeLaura. The production, transmission and possession of images of children are as exploitative as physical abuse itself, HSI is strongly committed to seeking out sexual predators who jeopardize the safety and well-being of our youth.”
The following allegations are based on the Complaint, which was filed last week in White Plains federal court:
On October 7, 2009, DELAURA, 37, of Jefferson Valley, Westchester County, New York, pled guilty in Bronx County Court to sexual misconduct. His victim was a 12-year-old boy. He was sentenced on December 16, 2009 to six years of probation and registered with the New York State Sex Offender Registry.
From May 5, 2011, through May 10, 2011, DELAURA distributed files containing images and videos of child pornography over the Internet via a Peer-to-Peer networking program.
In November 2011, DELAURA contacted a 15-year-old boy (the “Victim”) in an Internet chat room using the screen name “sillyrabbit” and claimed to be a 17-year-old girl. After an exchange of messages, DELAURA sent two obscene photographs to the Victim. On February 2, 2012, DELAURA was arrested by officers from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department (“PCSD”). After DELAURA was arrested, PCSD officers executed a search warrant at his residence and recovered an iPod, which contained approximately 162 videos containing images of child pornography and approximately 5 still photos of images containing child pornography. The iPod also contained photographs of DELAURA as well as the two obscene photographs that were sent to the Victim.
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DELAURA faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for distributing child pornography via the Internet; a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for possessing child pornography; and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for transferring obscene material to a minor. He also faces an additional minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for transferring obscene material to a minor while he was registered as a sex offender.
Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of ICE HSI, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, the Yorktown Police Department, the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office in connection with this investigation.
The charges in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney Margery B. Feinzig is in charge of the prosecution.
Any individual with relevant information on suspected child predators or any related suspicious activity is encouraged to contact Homeland Security Investigations in Castle Point, New York, at 1-845-831-1576, Option 2.