Rochester man pleads guilty child pornography case
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Paul Hearty, 37, of Rochester, New York, pled guilty to a one count felony information charging him with knowing possession of child pornography before United States District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. Due to Hearty's prior State conviction for possession of child pornography, the offense carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee stated that Hearty admitted to possessing images of child pornography, to include prepubescent children, on a Samsung smart phone in his possession. According to the criminal complaint, in December 2010, New York State Police's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force had received information that an AOL user was sending child pornography to an account used by a particular Internet Protocol address. The subscriber of the Internet Protocol address was identified as Hearty, residing at Alexander Street, in the City of Rochester. New York State Police executed a search warrant in April 2011 and images of child pornography were found on Hearty's Samsung smart phone.
In 2005, Hearty was convicted in Monroe County of the Possession of an Obscene Sexual Performance By A Child Less Than 16 Years Old and following his conviction, he was required to register as a sex offender.
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 plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of the United States Homeland Security Investigations under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit under the direction of Captain Frank Pace, and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office under the direction of Sandra Doorley.
Sentencing has been scheduled for July 8, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. before Judge Geraci.