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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Buffalo Man Charged With Multiple Child Pronography Charges

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Robert Pritchett, 20, of Buffalo, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with Production, receipt and possession of child pornography and sex trafficking of minors. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. mango, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on July 10, 2014, the defendant was arrested by the Cheektowaga Police Department and charged with sexually assaulting and raping a 15 year old girl. The charges were filed after Pritchett had a 14 year old female send him naked pictures using the Kik messaging application in June of 2014. The 14 year old asked the defendant to delete the pictures but he refused. The 14 year old contacted a 15 year old friend who contacted Pritchett in an attempt to get him to delete the pictures. The defendant agreed if the 15 year old met him in person.

The 15 year old met the defendant in South Buffalo, NY and the two boarded a bus to the Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga, NY. Pritchett forced the 15 year old to have oral sex and sexual intercourse with him. The 15 year old reported the assault and rape to the Cheektowaga Police in July 6, 2014. Subsequently, law enforcement officers, acting in an undercover capacity, contacted the defendant through the 15 year old’s telephone. Pritchett agreed to meet the “15 year old” on July 10, 2014 at which time he was arrested.

A subsequent search of the defendant’s cellular telephone revealed naked images of numerous unidentified underage females as well as images of one known underage female (victim 1). According to the complaint, during an interview with officers, victim 1 said she told Pritchett she was 15 years old. She also indicated that the defendant filmed a video chat during which she was naked. After that video session, victim 1 said she began receiving messages on social media from strangers who had seen her video.

On November 8, 2015, the town of Tonawanda Police responded to the Erie County Medical Center for a report of the sexual assault of a 17 year old female (victim 2). Victim 2 told officers she met the defendant on a social media website and eventually began communicating through telephone. Victim 2 said she told Pritchett she was having trouble at her New Jersey residence and wanted to leave. The defendant encouraged victim 2 to come to Buffalo but stated she would have to have sexual relations with his adopted brother when she arrived among other things. Pritchett also convinced victim 2 to place an ad on Backpage.com offering sexual services in exchange for money. On November 6, 2015, victim 2 traveled to Buffalo where the defendant picked her up and took her to a motel in Tonawanda where the two had sex.

On November 7, 2015, the defendant made victim 2 place ads on Backpage.com and meetme.com advertising prostitution services. Later that day, victim 2 has sexual intercourse with an individual who responded to the ad on meetme.com.

On November 8, 2015, victim 2 boarded a bus to head back to New Jersey but she got off at a stop near the airport and called a family friend who drove her to the hospital.     

The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and is being detained.

The complaint is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack, the Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jerome Ushold, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Timothy Howard. 

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated February 4, 2016