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Justice News

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cayuga County Man Indicted On Federal Child Enticement And Child Pornography Charges

Charges include possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Auburn, NY resident MICHAEL J. MAHANNAH, age 31, was formally charged today in federal court in Syracuse on multiple counts, including attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, according to United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. Following an initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew T. Baxter, Mahannah is being held without bond.

The twelve-count indictment returned by the federal Grand Jury charged Mahannah with the following crimes: Count 1 – Attempted Coercion and Enticement of an individual the defendant believed to be a twelve year-old male child (who was in fact an undercover police officer); Count 2 – Felony Offense Against a Minor by a Registered Sex Offender; Counts 3-7 – Distribution of Child Pornography; Counts 8-11 – Receipt of Child Pornography; and Count 12 – Possession of Child Pornography.

If found guilty of Counts 1 and 2, Mahannah faces a statutory minimum of at least 20 years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison. On Counts 3-11, the defendant faces a statutory minimum of at least 5 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison. On Count 12, the defendant faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. Mahannah may be fined up to $250,000 on each count of conviction. Upon release from prison, he would be placed on Supervised Release for a mandatory minimum of at least five years and up to life. He would also be required to register as a sex offender.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service, the New York State Police, the Syracuse Police Department, and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office, as part of Project Safe Childhood.

Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, and 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 case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa Fletcher and Nicolas Commandeur.

Updated April 7, 2015