05/21/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/21/2019 18:05
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an 18-count indictment charging Steven Gasiorek, 33, of Cheektowaga, NY, with production and receipt of child pornography, and enticement of a minor. The highest charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, a maximum penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Moellering, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment and a previously filed complaint, on April 10, 2019, the Fauquier County, Virginia Sheriff's Office contacted the Cheektowaga Police Department regarding a 14 year-old-male from Virginia who had been communicating through Instagram with a person utilizing Instagram account LEXIGURL1015. The boy, who was under the impression that LEXIGURL1015 was a teenage girl from California, sent pornographic images of himself to the account at the urging of the user LEXIGURL1015.
Subsequent investigation determined that the account belonged to the defendant, who was a substitute teacher and coach John F. Kennedy Middle and High schools. A search warrant was executed at the defendant's Lehigh Street residence. Investigators seized a laptop computer and external hard drive that contain numerous images constituting child pornography. Further investigation suggests that Gasiorek has been engaged in the enticement of minors to produce child pornography activity for several years.
The indictment alleges that, in February 2019, the defendant coerced six minor victims to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct. The defendant is also accused with enticing the minor victims and with receiving the child pornography created at his own urging.
The defendant was arraigned this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and was released on conditions.
Members of the public who have information related to this case are asked to call the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 716-843-1616.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack, and the West Seneca Police Department, under the direction of Chief Daniel Denz.
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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