U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York
(716) 843-5700
March 31, 2015

Greece Man Charged with Child Pornography and Enticement Charges

ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jason Cortese, 33, of Greece, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with attempted production of child pornography, enticement of a minor, distribution and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, a family member of a 12-year old minor notified law enforcement officials after seeing the contents of the 12-year-old’s cell phone which included chats between the minor and the defendant. A forensic examination was conducted which revealed sexually explicit conversations between the 12-year-old and Cortese. The defendant was known to the 12-year-old minor as a family friend. The minor disclosed that the two started chatting directly with one another through Facebook and then through Kik and Instagram. The chats revealed that the defendant attempted to get sexually explicit photos from the minor, sent pictures of his private area to the minor, and sent images to the minor that appeared to depict child pornography.

“This Office consistently encourages parents and guardians to monitor any technology use by their children and those in their care,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This case is a perfect example of why that is so important. It also shows that once adults alert law enforcement, we can and will follow up on any and all leads, wherever they take us.”

Cortese made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman. The defendant is being held pending a detention hearing on April 2, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

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 criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn and the Irondequoit Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard Tantalo.

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.

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