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Press Release

Rensselaer County Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Zachary Frye Was Previously Convicted of Promoting the Sexual Performance of a Child

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Zachary Frye, age 28, of Rensselaer County, New York, pled guilty today to sexual exploitation of a child. United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Matthew Scarpino, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Buffalo made the announcement.

During Frye’s change of plea hearing, he admitted that, in October 2019 while required to register as a sex offender due to a 2017 conviction for promoting the sexual performance of a child, he took several sexually explicit photographs of an approximately 5-year-old child. The images that Frye created included depictions of the child’s genitals and of the child’s hand on Frye’s penis. Frye also admitted that, on the same day he created those images, he sent them to another person on social media with whom he had been discussing the sexual abuse of children.

At sentencing scheduled for August 7, 2024, before United States District Judge Anne M. Nardacci, Frye faces a term of imprisonment of least 25 years and up to 50 years, a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least five years and up to life, a fine of up to $250,000, and restitution to the victim of his offense. Frye also will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant violated, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

HSI is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Gadarian is prosecuting the case 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), and is designed to marshal 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 April 9, 2024

Project Safe Childhood