Lancaster Man Arrested On Multiple Child Pornography 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 Joseph Lombardo, 24, of Lancaster, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal with production, receipt and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 30 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in May, 2014, a 15 year old female (victim 1) reported to Lancaster Police that three or four years earlier when she was 12 or 13 years old, she was contacted on the social media site “Kik” by an unknown male calling himself “Chris Richardson.” Victim 1 stated that “Chris Richardson” requested that she send him naked pictures. If she refused, Victim 1 said that “Chris Richardson” claimed he would post the pictures of her on the internet to exploit her. Victim 1 sent at least 50 naked pictures of herself to “Chris Richardson.” Victim 1 confided in another female (witness 1) who stated that “Chris Richardson” had also solicited pictures from her. Victim 1 then had her phone taken away by her mother for approximately one year.
In April 2014, Victim 1 got a new phone and was again contacted by “Chris Richardson” on “Kik” who demanded more naked pictures. Victim 1 sent an additional 100 pictures. Victim 1 told witness 1 about the continued extortion. Witness 1 told her about a male identified as “Dan” who would help her. Victim 1 was contacted by “Dan” who said she would help her if she hung out with him. Victim 1 agreed and chatted with “Dan” on a daily basis for several weeks. “Dan” also requested naked pictures and Victim 1 complied. Victim 1 and “Dan” eventually met in person and over the next few weeks had sexual contact several times. “Dan” asked Victim 1 for permission to record one of their sexual encounters which he would put on the internet and make money for her. Victim 1 is unsure if she was videotaped. Victim 1 stated that she told “Dan” her actual age.
On May 9, 2014, Victim 1 identified the defendant as “Dan” in a police photo array. On that same day, police recovered several items, including a laptop, during the execution of a search warrant at Lomabardo’s Lancaster residence.
During a forensic analysis of the contents of the laptop computer, officers discovered images of a 13 year old female (victim 2). The images were sent to the defendant by phone. In a subsequent interview with victim 2, she indicated that she met Lombardo on meetme.com. Victim 2 also indicated that the defendant identified himself as “Chris Richardson.”
The forensic analysis also revealed pictures of a 16 year old female (victim 3) who told police she also met the defendant on meetme.com. Victim 3 had sexual contact with Lombardo and also sent 30 to 40 naked pictures of herself to the defendant.
Lombardo made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and is being held pending a detention hearing on February 10, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.
The complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam Cohen, the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack, and the Lancaster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gerald Gill.
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.