Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Teacher Charged With Distribution Of Pornography

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

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
 ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Howard E. Brooks, 37, of Elmira, NY, was arrested and charged by a criminal complaint with possession and distribution of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on February 28, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that a user of an internet account at a residence on Lexington Avenue in Elmira was linked to an online community of individuals who send and receive child pornography online. Subsequent investigation determined that that the user of the account was Brooks, a former teacher at the Elmira Christian Academy School. 

The FBI executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on July 13, 2015. Brooks was home at the time and told special agents that he flushed three thumb drives down the toilet in an attempt to destroy them.  Agents were able to recover the thumb drives. A subsequent forensic analysis determined that the thumb drives contained images of child pornography.

The defendant made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson. Brooks was released on conditions and is due back in court on October 2, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. for a status conference.

The arrest was the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force which includes the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the Rochester Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.

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 August 31, 2015