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Press Release

Utica Man Arrested On Federal Child Exploitation Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Registered Sex Offender Accused of Exploiting Two-Year Old Child

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Shawn Bunnell, 34, of Utica was charged yesterday in United States District Court with sexual exploitation of a child, and the commission of a felony offense against a minor as a registered sex offender, announced Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith.

A criminal complaint filed yesterday accuses Bunnell of sexual exploitation of a child for producing lewd and lascivious images of a two-year old child, and uploading the images through Google. The investigation is ongoing, and the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center requests anyone who may have information to call 315-732-3990.

United States Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks ordered Bunnell detained without bail pending trial.

If convicted, Shawn Bunnell faces a mandatory minimum term of 25 years and a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison for the exploitation offense, and because he is accused of committing the offense as a person required to register as a sex offender, he faces an additional and mandatory consecutive term of 10 years in prison. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life. 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.

The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Oneida County Child Advocacy Center, Whitesboro Police Department, Utica Police Department, New York State Police, and Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the Northern District of New York.

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

Updated August 25, 2017

Project Safe Childhood