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, and James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations in New York (“HSI”), announced that RICHARD DINIZO, 59, entered a guilty plea today to a six-count Information that was filed on May 5. The Information to which DINIZO pled guilty charges that DINIZO engaged in sexually explicit conduct with seven different minors, all under the age of 11 at the time of the sexual abuse, and videoed the sexual abuse, and that DINIZO transported the videos he made of the minors engaging in sexual activity to recipients outside of New York.
On April 25, 2013, the Government unsealed a six-count Indictment charging DINIZO with engaging in sexual activity with five minors and videoing it and transporting the sexually explicit videos to recipients outside of New York. The six-count Information filed May 5 supersedes that Indictment and adds additional victims of DINIZO’s crimes.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “For the children preyed upon by Richard Dinizo, the encounter was a nightmare. This serial pedophile not only recorded his deviant criminal acts but shared those videos with others. This prosecution incapacitates and holds to account a dangerous man who threatened the well-being of children in our community.”
Special Agent in Charge James T. Hayes, Jr. stated: “Today’s guilty plea will ensure that one of the most heartless and depraved child predator this office has ever encountered can never again victimize another child. I am grateful for the tireless, diligent effort of the HSI Special Agents, Westchester and Putnam police officers and deputies, the New York State Police, and local and Federal prosecutors who investigated and prosecuted these crimes."
According to the Information filed on May 5, 2014, and court proceedings:
From 2007 through 2010, DINIZO engaged in sexually explicit conduct with seven different minors, all under the age of 11 and videoed that conduct. DINIZO’s homemade videos included multiple videos in which DINIZO appears on camera with a blindfolded victim and engages in trickery in order to manipulate the victim into engaging in sexual activity.
After editing the videos (and removing, among other things, images of himself and the voices that appear on the unedited videos), DINIZO transported his homemade sexually explicit videos to recipients outside of New York. In 2010 and 2011, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (“NCMEC”) received DINIZO’s homemade videos among other videos recovered by law enforcement in investigations throughout the country and internationally. Until DINIZO’s arrest in this case and the instant investigation, NCMEC had not been able to identify the child victims or the place of their abuse.
DINIZO is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti on September 12, 2014, and faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence 170 years (30 years on each of Counts One through Five and 20 years on Count Six). The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
On February 18, 2014, DINIZO was convicted in Westchester County Court of Predatory Sexual Assault against a Child Less Than 13 Years Old and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 25 years to life.
Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of ICE HSI, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office, Putnam County Sherriff’s Office, the New York State Police, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in connection with this investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney Marcia S. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.