Man admits guilt in child porn case

County Court, 48 Court St, Canton.

CANTON — A Rensselaer Falls man admitted Friday in St. Lawrence County Court to possessing child pornography as part of a plea deal that the judge said he had “misgivings” about.

Dustin G. Carpenter, 34, of 4016 Route 812, pleaded guilty to felony possession of an obscene sexual performance by a child, the reduced count of the Superior Court filing with the court charging him with promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child.

Carpenter told St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome, under oath, that at 9:31 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2018, in the town of Oswegatchie he had an image of two children under the age of 17 engaged in sexual conduct.

As part of the plea deal, Carpenter will have to participate in a sex offender risk assessment hearing to determine this risk level, will be placed on one year of interim probation on Dec. 16 and will have the opportunity to vacate his felony plea and plead to the misdemeanor of third-degree obscenity and be placed on probation with one-year credit.

If he is unsuccessful, he will be convicted of the felony and could face four years in prison.

But Judge Richards, who has made no formal announcement about stepping down from the bench, echoed previous sentiments of no longer being on the bench at the time of a defendant’s sentencing and said he left notes for the judge that will be appointed to replace him.

In those notes, he told Carpenter’s attorney, Daniel C. Ramsey, and Assistant District Attorney Alexander Nichols, that he had “misgivings about the offer” and made notes to reflect as such and what those concerns are.

He did not elaborate further from the bench.

While Carpenter was released under probation to await his Dec. 16 interim probation placement, Judge Richards modified his release conditions, which includes not owning any devices that would allow him access to the internet.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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