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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Irondequoit Woman Charged With Production Of Child Pornography

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Megan McDonald, 35, of Irondequoit, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with production, distribution and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 40 and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant engaged in an ongoing conversation online with co-defendant Jason Cortese. He was arrested and charged with attempted production of child pornography, enticement of a minor, distribution and possession of child pornography on March 31, 2015.

During these online chats, the complaint states that McDonald expressed a sexual interest in young girls and sent Cortese numerous images of nude children, including nude images and videos of a victim identified in this case. According to the complaint, McDonald sent the images to Cortese’s phone two or three years ago. A search of the phone by law enforcement officers uncovered images and videos that appear to depict the victim as well as a second victim in this case.

The complaint also states that one of the victims was four years old when the images and videos were produced by McDonald. The defendant, according to the complaint, also produced the images of the second victim who was one year old at the time they were produced.      

McDonald made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and is due back in court on April 13, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. for a detention hearing.

The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn, and the Irondequoit Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard V. Tantalo.

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 April 9, 2015