CONTENT WARNING CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN
BUFFALO, N.Y.- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Robert Pritchett, 21, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to production of child pornography, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that in October of 2015, Robert Pritchett, utilizing the name “Jess Allen,” began communicating with Victim 1, a 17-year-old female from New Jersey, via text messages and chat messages over the internet. The defendant convinced her to travel to New York to live with him. Pritchett misrepresented his identity and made fraudulent promises regarding where she would live upon her arrival. On November 6, 2015, after picking up Victim 1 at the bus station, the two engaged in sexual activities, and then traveled to a motel in Tonawanda, NY. While at the motel, Pritchett had Victim 1 engage in prostitution services and engaged in additional sexual activities with Victim 1. During the sexual activity, the defendant used Victim 1’s Apple iPhone to record some of the activity.
Pritchett also engaged in online sexual communications and/or sexual contact with three other minor females. In June of 2014, using Kik, the defendant sent sexually explicit photographs by a 14-year-old female (Victim 2) from Buffalo. This then lead to communications with a 15-year-old female friend of Victim 2, also from Buffalo (Victim 3). Victim 3 went with the defendant to the Galleria Mall on July 3, 2014, in an effort to get the defendant to delete the pictures he had of Victim 2. While at the mall, Pritchett engaged in repeated sexual acts with Victim 3 inside a movie theater and near a loading dock of a department store.
Between November, 2013 and March, 2014, the defendant communicated with a 15-year-old female from East Aurora (Victim 4), using ooVoo, a video and instant messaging chat application. During those communications, Victim 4 engaged in sexually explicit conduct while video chatting with the defendant. During the video chat, Pritchett created two screen shots that depicted Victim 4 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and saved those screen shots to his cellular telephone.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Adam s. Cohen, Special Agent-in-Charge, along with Detectives from the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 17, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Vilardo.