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Press Release

church photographer sentenced to multiple life sentences for sexual exploitation of children

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

        ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul announced today that Daryl Vonneida, 63, of Dix, N.Y., who was convicted by a jury of 14 counts related to the sexual exploitation of children, including production of child pornography, transporting minors in interstate commerce for illegal sexual activity and possession of child pornography, was sentenced to life in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Charles J. Siragusa. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller, who handled the case, stated that the defendant was sentenced life in prison on each of the counts of production of child pornography and transportation. Judge Siragusa also sentenced the defendant to 20 years on each of the possession of child pornography counts, all to be served concurrently. 

“This case sends a clear message that if you victimize a child, you could spend the rest of your life behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “It also reminds all of us that child predators can include persons who work in positions of trust, and that we must continue to be vigilant with respect to those who interact with our children.”

Vonneida was charged after two minor children came forward with allegations of abuse by the defendant. Members of the New York State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at the defendant's residence in September 2011 and recovered videos produced by Vonneida in which he coerced four children to engage in sexually explicit conduct. The defendant admitted to producing the videos and to taking the children to Hershey Park, PA and Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA.

Evidence presented by the Government at trial showed that the defendant used his position as a volunteer photographer at a church in Horseheads to gain the trust of the parents and the victims. 

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian P. Boetig, and members of the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Mark Koss.

For more information, the public is encouraged to visit the following websites, which contain helpful information about protecting children from exploitation and abduction:

NY Sex Offender Registry

DOJ National Sex Offender Public Website

What you can do to protect your child (NCJRS)

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Department of Justice
OJJDP Publications?Child Protection

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

NCMEC’s website to teach children about dangers on the Internet

The Federal Bureau of Investigation?s Crime Against Children Program webpage



Updated November 18, 2014