06/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/23/2021 16:47
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Peter Hingston, 62, of Amherst, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to two counts of possessing child pornography. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000.
'The defendant's behavior in this case is the stuff of which parents' nightmares are made,' noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. 'Our schools are supposed to be safe havens where our children's minds are nurtured. The defendant's effort to exploit his student's for his own gratification warrants federal prosecution and the significant sentencing exposure occasioned by today's guilty pleas.'
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who is handling the case, stated that on June 17, 2019, Buffalo Police Officers were called to City Honors School, where the defendant worked as a middle school technology teacher, based on allegations that Hingston was taking inappropriate photographs of female students with a GoPro camera. Officers secured the GoPro digital camera from Hingston. A subsequent search of the camera resulted in the recovery of child pornography videos produced by the defendant, involving minor victims who were under his custody, care, and supervisory control when the sexually explicit images were produced. Investigators also searched an external hard drive possessed by Hingston, which contained additional videos of child pornography produced by Hingston, involving different minor victims, who were also was under his custody, care, and supervisory control.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Buffalo Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood, and the Town of Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief James P. Stauffiger.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 21, 2021, before Judge Arcara.
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