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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 2, 2022

Vestal Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Nicholas Donafrio, age 42, of Vestal, New York, pled guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy to one count of possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen. 

Donafrio’s sentencing is scheduled for September 6, 2022.  He faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 on the charge.  The Court must also impose a term of supervised release of between 5 years and life, and Donofrio 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 is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

As part of his guilty plea, Donafrio admitted that in September of 2016 an FBI undercover agent using peer-to-peer file sharing software downloaded child pornography from Donafrio’s laptop computer and that in March of 2017 he possessed over 12,000 images and 57 video files depicting child pornography on a thumb drive. Donofrio also admitted that he possessed another 1,500 images and 150 videos on eight other pieces of electronic media, and that the child pornography he collected included prepubescent children and toddlers.

Donafrio’s case was investigated by the FBI Syracuse Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), with assistance from the Vestal Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown as a part of Project Safe Childhood.

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), 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 2, 2022