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Bail denied for man in porn case

Hearing for other Mayfield resident scheduled Monday

August 10, 2013
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

ALBANY - A Mayfield man accused of producing child pornography was denied bail at a detention hearing Friday, while his brother and co-defendant had his hearing postponed until Monday.

Richard Hastings, 18, and Robert Hastings, 21, of 171 Yates Road, Mayfield, appeared in U.S. District Court in Albany on Friday for a detention hearing in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Randolph Treece.

The brothers were charged Thursday by federal authorities with producing child pornography.

Article Photos

Town of Mayfield men Robert, left, and Richard Hastings are escorted from the U.S. District Court in Albany on Friday after a detention hearing. Both men were charged Thursday with creating child pornography.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland

According to complaints, between July 27 and 29, Richard Hastings produced sexually explicit photographs of the child and posted some of them on a website and emailed some to an undercover investigator with Queensland Police Services in Australia, a news release said.

Sean O'Dowd, assistant U.S. attorney and prosecutor of the case, said the Hastings know the 7-year-old victim. O'Dowd said Richard Hastings confessed to touching the victim.

The brothers, who live together, had their initial court appearances in Albany on Thursday before Treece, and both defendants were detained, the release said.

O'Dowd said Friday that Richard Hastings is considered a flight risk, partly due to the severity of the charges he is facing.

"This is not a routine case or a run-of-the-mill case," O'Dowd said.

O'Dowd said Richard Hastings used programs to hide his distribution of the material. O'Dowd said Richard Hastings used services such as Hushmail, an encrypted email service, and a program known as Tor, which is free software that allows people to browse the Internet anonymously.

Richard Hastings, represented by his attorney Lee Greenstein, sat silently during the detention hearing.

Greenstein said Hastings has shown remorse for his actions. With computers removed from the home, Greenstein said, Richard Hastings will not be able to continue his crimes. Greenstein said Richard should be allowed to stay at his home to get the help and care he needs.

"[Richard Hastings] is as mild and gentle as he appears," Greenstein said.

Judge Treece denied bail for Richard?Hastings, saying what he is accused of is not a matter of "willy-nilly putting pictures on the web."

Richard Hastings had the right to a preliminary hearing in the case, but waved his right to it. The judge then placed Richard Hastings in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Robert Hastings, who was in the courtroom, asked - through his attorney, Paul Evangelista - to have his hearing postponed until Monday.

Treece agreed to the request.

If found guilty of production of child pornography, each of the defendants would face a minimum of 15 years in prison and up to a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

 
 

 

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