Skip to main content
Press Release

Rhode Island Man Sentenced to 180 Years in Prison for Exploitation of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A Westerly, R.I., man who admitted to repeatedly persuading and coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct which he photographed and recorded for approximately two or three years, and who admitted to distributing child pornography, was sentenced on Friday to 180 years in federal prison.

Jay Gaccione, 41, pleaded guilty on November 13, 2018, to five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of distribution of child pornography, and two counts of possession of child pornography.

On November 4, 2016, agents from Homeland Security Investigations and members of the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a court-authorized search warrant at Gaccione’s Westerly residence and seized, among other items, several electronic and digital storage devices. Forensic audits of the devices revealed numerous videos and images of child pornography produced by Gaccione with a victim between the ages of 12 and 14-years-old.

The investigation also determined that Gaccione sought to obtain images from an individual he communicated with online of a child as young as three-years-old being sexually assaulted.

The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh, and Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman acknowledges and thanks the Westerly Police Department for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated July 1, 2019

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 19-80