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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 29, 2021

Canton Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Sexually Exploiting a Child and Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Jacob Leonard, age 31, of Canton, New York, was sentenced yesterday to serve 25 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting a child and distributing and possessing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and New York State Police (NYSP) Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen.

As part of his previous guilty plea, Leonard admitted that he sexually exploited a minor child and focused the camera of his cellular telephone on the victim’s vaginal area for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the victim’s genitals. A week later Leonard sent that digital picture to another individual using a social media messaging application over the internet. A subsequent search of Leonard’s cellular telephone revealed that he was also in possession of 33 images and 18 video files depicting child pornography including videos depicting the sexual abuse of infants.  

Chief United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby also imposed a 25 year term of supervised release, which will start after Leonard is released from prison, and ordered Leonard to pay a $300 special assessment. Leonard will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Leonard’s case was investigated by the FBI Syracuse Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Computer Crimes Unit (CCU). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown as a part of Project Safe Childhood.

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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 29, 2021