Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Sexual Exploitation of a Child
A former executive director for a university’s donor relations and fundraising programs in New York was sentenced today to 35 years in prison for multiple child pornography crimes, including his participation in the sexual abuse of a 6-year-old.
According to court documents, on July 22, 2015, Scott Lane, 37, of New York, New York, and others were on a particular video-conferencing platform when a man in Pennsylvania, co-conspirator William Augusta, began sexually abusing a 6-year-old boy. Lane and others encouraged Augusta to sexually abuse the boy for everyone to watch live. Specifically, Lane, using the alias “NYC Perv,” instructed Augusta to “make out with him,” and further instructed Augusta to engage in specific sexual acts with the boy. An undercover Toronto Police detective constable observed the sexual abuse via the video-conferencing platform, and the following day, law enforcement rescued the child and arrested Augusta, who had been sexually abusing the child for approximately two years. A subsequent search of Lane’s electronic devices revealed that Lane possessed multiple videos of prepubescent child pornography.
“The successful prosecution of the 15 individuals in this case, many of whom were responsible for the reprehensible sexual abuse of a 6-year-old child on a live-streaming, video-conferencing platform, demonstrate the Department of Justice’s unwavering commitment to targeting dangerous sexual abusers of children, however they commit their crimes,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “We will continue to work closely with our domestic and foreign law enforcement partners to identify, prosecute, and hold accountable those who exploit children, no matter the technological means they use to commit their heinous crimes.”
“This defendant and his co-conspirators engaged in truly hideous behavior toward a child,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler of the Middle District of Pennsylvania. “The lengthy sentence imposed today, and the lengthy sentences imposed earlier, reflect our office’s commitment to protecting vulnerable victims and punishing individuals who engage in this type of abhorrent behavior. I want to thank all the prosecutors and law enforcement agents who worked tirelessly to make sure justice was served in this case.”
“Today’s sentence demonstrates the severity of the crimes committed in this case,” said Special Agent in Charge Brian A. Michael for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia. “The defendant perpetuated unspeakable crimes against the most vulnerable of victims, a child. Homeland Security Investigations and our law enforcement partners are devoted to identifying, investigating, and prosecuting offenders like the defendant ensuring they will never harm another child. We hope today’s sentencing can bring some solace to the victim in their recovery.”
In May 2016, 15 individuals were charged in an 18-count superseding indictment by a grand jury in the Middle District of Pennsylvania with multiple child exploitation offenses, many of which related to 14 co-conspirators’ involvement in using the video-conferencing website to produce, advertise, distribute, and/or receive child pornography. Twelve of the defendants pleaded guilty prior to trial, and two went to trial in January 2018. The defendants were sentenced to between six and a half years and 60 years. One defendant died after pleading guilty but before sentencing, and another defendant died before trial.
Lane pleaded guilty to six counts of child pornography crimes on Jan. 11, 2018, including conspiracy to produce and production of child pornography. In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to serve 15 years of supervised release and to pay $50,000 of restitution to the then-6-year-old victim as well as $476.95 to another victim.
HSI Philadelphia, the Toronto Police Service, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, and the North Middleton Police Department investigated the case, with assistance from the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section’s (CEOS) High Technology Investigative Unit.
CEOS Trial Attorney Austin M. Berry and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Ford of the Middle District of Pennsylvania prosecuted the case.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.