Wednesday, August 3, 2016
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Scott Wilbert, 41, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession of child pornography. The charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force identified the defendant accessing child pornography online. Officers executed a search warrant at Wilbert’s residence and seized a laptop computer. A forensic examination of that computer recovered sexually explicit photographs of prepubescent children, some as young as toddlers.
Wilbert made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Feldman. He is due back in federal court for a status hearing on October 6, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation by the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Craig Hanesworth and Special Agents of Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen. The task force includes the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the Rochester Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations, and the Greece Police Department.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
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.