ALBANY, NEW YORK – John C. Hotaling, age 62, of Esperance, New York, was sentenced today to serve 188 months (15 years and eight months) in federal prison for possessing child pornography. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Craig L. Tremaroli, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven G. James.
As part of his earlier guilty plea on the eve of trial, Hotaling admitted that in 2020, he possessed child pornography images, some of which he created by photoshopping the faces of children onto nude adult bodies engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a process known as “morphing.” Hotaling was on supervised release at the time for a 2009 conviction for engaging in the same conduct. He also admitted to violating his terms and conditions of supervised release and was sentenced to an additional 12 months in prison for the supervised release violation. United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby ordered Hotaling to serve the 12 months consecutively to the 188-month term imposed for new criminal conduct.
Judge Suddaby also imposed a life term of supervised release to begin upon Hotaling’s completion of his prison term, and ordered Hotaling to forfeit the laptop he used to commit the offenses. Hotaling must also register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.
The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, the New York State Police and the United States Probation Office investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas Collyer, Ashlyn Miranda and Rick Bellis prosecuted 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). 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.