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Cortland County Man Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Exploitation Crimes

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Christopher M. Perry, 36, of Cortland, New York, pled guilty today to a two-count information charging that he, together with Sarah R. Gates, conspired to sexually exploit, and sexually exploited, a child under five years of age for the purpose of producing images of the abuse.

The announcement was made by the United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin M. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

As part of his guilty plea, Perry admitted that on several occasions in 2017, he and Sarah R. Gates performed sexual acts on the child while taking photographs of the abuse, using two cell phones.

Sarah R. Gates is charged by complaint with the same offenses, which are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy will sentence Perry on August 18, 2020.  Each of the three crimes to which Christopher M. Perry pled guilty carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.  He will also be required to register as a sex offender. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors. Sentences of imprisonment may be concurrent or consecutive at the discretion of the Court.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the City of Cortland Police Department, and the New York State Police-Computer Crimes Unit, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sahar L. Amandolare.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and is designed to marshal federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.

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