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Justice News

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

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ilion Man Arrested For Sexual Explotation Of A Child

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - Ralph Daniel Smith, 41, of Ilion, New York, was arrested today on a federal indictment, charging him with sexual exploitation of a child, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.

The indictment alleges that in November of 2013 Smith, using the pseudonym "Dan Smithson," coerced a 14 year old girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of that conduct, in violation of federal law.

The charge filed against Smith carries a minimum sentence of 15 years, and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life. In addition, a conviction will require Smith to register as a sex offender.

Smith was arraigned today in Syracuse, New York, before a United States Magistrate Judge and remanded pending a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

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

This case is being investigated by the Ilion Police Department, the Herkimer County District Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa M. Fletcher, as a 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, Project Safe Childhood is 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

Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 4, 2015