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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lancaster Man Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography Charges

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Joseph Lombardo, 25, of Lancaster, NY, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and receipt of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 50 years and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that 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 her friend (Witness 1) who stated that “Chris Richardson” had also solicited pictures from her.

After a parent of took her phone away from her for approximately one year, Victim 1, in April 2014, got a new phone and was again contacted by “Chris Richardson” on “Kik.” Richardson demanded more naked pictures. Victim 1 sent an additional 100 pictures. Victim 1 told Witness 1 about the continued extortion, and Witness 1 told Victim 1 about a male, identified as “Dan,” who had reached out to her and offered to help deal with “Richardson.”  Thereafter, Victim 1 was contacted by “Dan” who offered to 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, during a police photo array, Victim 1 identified the defendant Lombardo as the person she knew as “Dan.”  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. 

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Adam S. Cohen, Special Agent-In-Charge, the Lancaster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gerald Gill and the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 7, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

Updated November 29, 2016