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Press Release

Rome Man Charged with Sexually Exploiting a Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Michael Mayhew, age 55, of Rome, New York, appeared today in federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks on charges that he sexually exploited a child.  The defendant was ordered detained without bail pending a hearing on September 24, 2020.The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

The criminal complaint alleges that in December 2018, Mayhew took several sexually explicit photographs of a 6-year-old child using his cellular telephone.  The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of between five years and life.  He will also be required to register as a sex offender. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors. 

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Oneida County Sherriff’s Office, Rome Police Department, Oneida County District Attorney’s Office, New York State Police, United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown 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 September 21, 2020

Project Safe Childhood