School Occupational Therapist Charged With Sexual Exploitation Of A Child And Receipt And Distribution Of Child Pornography
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Louis Falco III, the Rockland County Sheriff, announced that DARIN PETERSON and ANTHONY MITCHELL were charged today with production of child pornography. According to the Complaints, PETERSON and MITCHELL enticed a child (the “Victim”) — while the Victim was 14 and 15-years-old and while the defendants were incarcerated, awaiting trial for murder and other serious charges — to send them digital content of herself engaged in sexually explicit activity. The defendants were transferred into federal custody today and presented on the charges in White Plains Federal Court.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “The harm that child sex abuse can inflict on the most innocent of victims is something no child should bear. That these defendants committed these crimes while awaiting trial for murder and other serious charges makes their conduct especially contemptible, and this Office and our FBI partners will continue to exhaustively detect, identify, and charge any individuals engaged in this sinister conduct.”
FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “Petersen and Mitchell, while incarcerated awaiting trial for murder and additional violent crimes, allegedly preyed on a child, inducing them to send sexually explicit content to the defendants. The FBI and our partners in law enforcement will remain tireless in our efforts to protect children from violent predators.”
Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco III said: “The Rockland County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockland County Intelligence Center were proud to assist the FBI Safe Streets Task Force in this investigation. Sexual predators who exploit children, who are among the most vulnerable members of society, will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
As alleged in the Complaints:
From on or about August 12, 2022, up to and including on or about September 25, 2022, in the case of MITCHELL, and from on or about December 7, 2022, up to and including on or about January 29, 2023, in the case of PETERSON, the defendants contacted the Victim and demanded that she take and send to them sexually explicit digital media depicting herself.
The defendants committed these crimes while PETERSON awaited trial for murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon, and while MITCHELL awaited trial for murder, attempted murder, and criminal possession of a weapon.
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MITCHELL, 23, of Haverstraw, New York, and PETERSON, 29, of West Haverstraw, New York, are charged with one count of production of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum potential sentence of 30 years in prison.
The minimum and maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the FBI and the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office and thanked the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance in this case.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Arad is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitutes only allegations, and every fact described therein should be treated as an allegation.