Hanson Man Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Exploitation Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A Hanson man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with sending sexually explicit messages to two pre-teen girls.
Mark L. Leach, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of coercion and enticement of a minor child. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor scheduled sentencing for May 25, 2017. Leach was arrested and charged in April 2016.
In 2016, law enforcement officers learned that Leach, using the Skype screen name “funtimehockey,” had sent sexually explicit messages via text, live video and audio to two pre-teen girls. One of the girls occasionally babysat for Leach’s daughter. The victims told law enforcement officers that Leach asked them to send him naked and sexually explicit pictures of themselves. The victims also stated that during these sessions, Leach also sent naked and sexually explicit pictures of himself to the victims.
Leach admitted during an interview with law enforcement that he had set up the Skype account to communicate with these minor victims and others, and frequently requested that they expose themselves to him during the conversations. Leach also admitted that when the minor victims babysat for his daughter, he would expose himself and masturbate in front of them.
The charging statute provides for a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and no greater than lifetime in prison, a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Colonel Richard D. McKeon Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Hanson Police Chief Michael Miksch; and Whitman Police Chief Scott D. Benton, made the announcement today. The Waltham Police Department also assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.
Updated March 1, 2017
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