United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York

02/26/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/27/2024 01:31

Jury Convicts Oswego County Man of Receiving, Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

Press Release

Jury Convicts Oswego County Man of Receiving, Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

Monday, February 26, 2024
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Austin Tennant Used Various Means to Obtain Child Pornography Including by Communicating Directly with Minor Victims

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - Austin Tennant, age 29, of Phoenix, New York, was convicted on Friday, after a four-day jury trial, on four counts of Distribution of Child Pornography, three counts of Receipt of Child Pornography, and one count of Possession of Child Pornography. The charges relate to Tennant's distribution of child pornography he downloaded from the Internet as well as child pornography he received directly from child victims he chatted with online.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Matthew Scarpino, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The evidence at trial established that, between September 2022 and January 2023, Tennant obtained from the Internet and directly from child victims hundreds of videos and thousands of images of child pornography. The evidence further established that Tennant later redistributed that same child pornography to others, including to other children in an effort to induce them to provide him with sexually explicit images and videos of themselves.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 24, 2024, in Syracuse, before Chief United States District Judge Brenda K. Sannes. For each of his convictions on Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography, Tennant faces a term of imprisonment between five and twenty years, and a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years on his conviction for Possession of Child Pornography. Tennant also faces a fine of up to $250,000, mandatory restitution to the victims, and a term of supervised release between five years and life. Tennant will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. A defendant's sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

The case was investigated by HSI Syracuse with assistance from the Oswego County Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian LaRochelle and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Tuck prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney's 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.

Updated February 26, 2024
Project Safe Childhood