Man pleads guilty to child porn charges

Tribune News Service photo

ALBANY — A Canton man pleaded guilty this week in federal court to child pornography charges in a Project Safe Childhood case led by FBI investigators.

Jacob Leonard, 30, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, to one count of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Leonard admitted to sending an image of child pornography he created to another person on a social media messaging app. Investigators determined Leonard was in possession of 33 images and 18 videos of child pornography on his phone.

He remains in custody, pending sentencing scheduled for Aug. 5, and he faces at least 15 years and up to 70 years in prison. Chief U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby is also expected to impose a term of post-release supervision between five years and life. Leonard will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

The case was investigated by FBI special agents based in Syracuse and the state police Computer Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown is prosecuting.

Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice program launched in 2006, is headed by U.S. attorneys and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

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