Gasport Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Christopher Wittcop, 43, of Gasport, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to possession of child pornography. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who is handling the case, stated that Wittcop possessed child pornography on a laptop computer in Lockport, NY on July 18, 2011. A forensic analysis determined the computer contained over 600 images and video files of child pornography. Wittcopp used peer to peer software to share the images with others through the Internet.
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 plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Cyber Task Force and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff James Votour.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 20, 2015, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.