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Press Release

Cortland County Woman Sentenced to 45 Years for Child Sexual Exploitation Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Sarah R. Gates Photographed Her Sexual Exploitation of a Child Under Five Years of Age

SYRACUSE, NEW YORKSarah R. Gates, age 40, of Cortland, New York, was sentenced yesterday to serve 540 months (45 years) in prison for conspiring and acting together with co-defendant Christopher Perry to sexually exploit a child under five years of age for the purpose of producing images of the abuse. The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

As part of her prior guilty plea to a three-count Information, Gates admitted that on several occasions in 2017, she and Perry performed sexual acts on the child while taking photographs of the abuse, using two cell phones.

Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also imposed a 15-year term of supervised release, which will start after Gates is released from prison.  As a result of her conviction, Gates will also be required to register as a sex offender upon her release from prison.

Perry previously pled guilty to the same offenses and was sentenced, on November 3, 2020, to 540 months (45 years) in prison. 

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the City of Cortland Police Department, and the New York State Police-Computer Crimes Unit, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sahar L. Amandolare and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle as part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s 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

Updated August 27, 2021

Project Safe Childhood