The New York Criminal Law Blog

Ex-Theater Director, While On Probation, Caught With Child Porn

According to the Associated Press, Vincent Sparagano is still on probation for sending suggestive emails to a 14-year-old back in 2010. As part of his probation, his computer and cell phone are monitored by probation officers.

Why then, would he be so stupid as to allegedly look up child porn? According to the Long Island Press, detectives with the Computer Crimes Division were helping the probation officers monitor his computer when they stumbled upon images of child pornography. He has since been charged with one count of possessing a sexual performance by a child.

The charge is pretty self-explanatory. A person has to knowingly possess material that he knows to contain a child under the age of 16 performing a sexual act. The only real defense he might have is that he was targeted by a virus or a hacker, both of which seem unlikely in light of his previous offense.

The possession offense is a class E felony in New York, which means a sentence of one to four years in prison, unless a judge feels that such a sentence would be unduly harsh. For class D and E felonies, a judge can order a sentence of less than a year when the circumstances warrant such leniency. However, we doubt a judge would show lenience in a child porn case where the defendant has a history of emailing children.

It's not just the new charges he has to worry about however. If Sparagano is convicted of the child porn possession charge, that would almost certainly violate his probation on the previous creepy-emails-to-a-kid rap. He'd face a possibly reinstated sentence for that offense, plus the time on the new charge.

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