Chat group member Pleads Guilty to Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

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ALBANY, NEW YORK – Sean Eckrote, age 37, of Granville, New York, pled guilty yesterday to distributing and possessing child pornography.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Nicholas B. Boshears, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In pleading guilty, Eckrote admitted that he used a phone-based messaging application to distribute images and videos containing child pornography to members of a private chat group. Eckrote admitted that he distributed child pornography to others in exchange for other child pornography, and to gain acceptance within the private chat group. Eckrote also admitted to possessing additional images and videos of child pornography on his cell phone, including depictions involving prepubescent children and children under the age of 12, the sexual abuse and exploitation of toddlers, and sadistic conduct.

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Eckrote will be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby on October 28, 2021, and is facing at least 5 years and up to 20 years in prison, to be followed by a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.  Eckrote will also have to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.


The case was investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, and Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashlyn Miranda.

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This case is being prosecuted 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), and is designed to marshal 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.