Cohoes Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Producing and Distributing Child Pornography
ALBANY, NEW YORK – George Muzio, Jr., age 37, of Cohoes, New York, was sentenced today to 420 months in prison for the online sexual exploitation of children, and for the possession and distribution of child pornography.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin M. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino also sentenced Muzio to a lifetime term of supervised release, to begin following his term of imprisonment. Muzio will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison
Muzio pled guilty on July 9, 2018, to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, six counts of distribution of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.
In connection with his guilty plea, Muzio admitted that between August 2014 and May 2016, he communicated with 13 underage girls using his cell phone and the Kik Messenger application. The minors lived throughout North America and ranged in age from 11 to 17 years old, with most being between 13 and 14 years old at the time Muzio engaged them in text-message exchanges via Kik. The communications, which Muzio frequently steered towards sexual performances by the children, generally spanned thousands of messages sent and received over several months.
Muzio further admitted that he posed as a teenage boy, and repeatedly requested and received sexually explicit photographs from the underage girls he targeted. He texted detailed instructions to two victims about how he wanted them to pose in the sexually explicit photographs that they took and sent to him at his request. One of those victims, a resident of Montana with whom Muzio exchanged over 2,000 text messages over a period of 8 months, was 11 years old at the time. The second, a resident of Georgia with whom Muzio exchanged over 4,700 text messages over a period of 4 months, was 13 years old.
In addition, Muzio admitted that on 6 occasions between March 2015 and January 2016, he distributed child pornography videos from his Cohoes home through an Internet file-sharing program. He also admitted that on May 3, 2016, he possessed a laptop computer that contained approximately 400 child pornography videos depicting the sexual abuse of children as young as 10 years old.
In sentencing Muzio today, Judge D’Agostino told him: “What I find barbaric in this case is what [you] did to innocent children. Children are supposed to be able to lead their lives without being subjected to this kind of evil. Children are the people in society that we are supposed to protect above all others. The barbarism for me is what was done to these children and the way it was done.”
This case was investigated by HSI, with assistance from the Colonie Police Department and the Cohoes Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emmet O’Hanlon.
This case is prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
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