School Occupational Therapist Charged With Sexual Exploitation Of A Child And Receipt And Distribution Of Child Pornography
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MICHAEL LOCATENA was sentenced yesterday before United States District Judge Cathy Seibel in White Plains federal court to 13 years in prison for receiving and distributing child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Those who receive and distribute child pornography endanger and victimize the most vulnerable in our communities. The stiff prison sentence imposed on Michael Locatena should serve to deter others who would engage in these crimes.”
According to the the Indictment and statements made during court proceedings:
LOCATENA, 46, of Chester in Orange County, New York, downloaded at least 1,400 images and videos of child pornography from the Internet using a peer-to-peer file-sharing program, and saved the child pornography on external hard drives.
Yesterday’s sentencing followed LOCATENA’s guilty plea on February 7, 2012, and a three-day sentencing hearing that began in July 2013 and continued over the last two days. At the sentencing hearing, Judge Seibel heard testimony from a minor victim concerning prior sexual abuse of the victim by LOCATENA. Judge Seibel concluded that the Government demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the abuse occurred, and concluded that the conduct should be considered in determining the appropriate sentence for LOCATENA.
LOCATENA also testified at the hearing. He maintained that he did not engage in inappropriate activity with the minor victim, denied any sexual interest in children, and insisted that he had “inadvertently” downloaded all of the child pornography. In sentencing LOCATENA, Judge Seibel stated that much of LOCATENA’s testimony was “incredible” and “preposterous,” and she made a finding that he committed perjury during his testimony.
Mr. Bharara thanked the FBI, the Rockland County Computer Crimes Task Force, the New York State Police, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and the Orange County Child Protective Services for their work in the investigation.
In June 2011, LOCATENA was previously convicted, after a jury trial, in Orange County of Criminal Possession of a Loaded Firearm in the 2nd Degree and sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment. That sentence will run concurrently with the sentence imposed today.
The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney Marcia Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.