New York Man Posed as Teen Girl Online, Tricked Children Into Sending Him Nude Photos
Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Binghamton, N.Y., man who posed online as a teenage girl pleaded guilty in federal court today to attempting to produce child pornography by tricking children – including three victims in Sedalia, Mo. – into sending him nude images of themselves.
Brandon David Cuddihe, 31, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps, Jr., to two counts of attempting to produce child pornography.
By pleading guilty today, Cuddihe admitted that he posed on Facebook as a 14-year-old girl named “Hannah Richards.” Using that false identity, he conversed with more than 150 people, many of whom were between 11 and 15 years of age. Three minors, including two 10-year-olds and a teenager, are from the Sedalia, Mo., area. The mother of one of those victims contacted the Sedalia Police Department when she learned that her 10-year-old daughter had sent nude photos and videos via Facebook Messenger.
Using the “Hannah Richards” Facebook account, Cuddihe told investigators, he would pick a random individual to befriend. Cuddihe would go through all of their friends and add a bunch of their friends to his friends list. If an individual accepted his friend request, then he would begin chatting with them through Facebook Messenger.
Under federal statutes, Cuddihe is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley S. Turner. It was investigated by the FBI, the Sedalia, Mo., Police Department, the Binghamton, N.Y., Police Department, and the Broome County, N.Y., Sheriff’s Department.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."