Oswego County man convicted for child pornography manipulated child victims online

PHOENIX, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After a four-day jury trial, on Friday, Feb. 23, a man from Oswego County was convicted on four counts of Distribution of Child Pornography, three counts of Receipt of Child Pornography, and one count of Possession of Child Pornography.

29-year-old Austin Tennant of Phoenix, New York, was convicted on charges including distributing child pornography and downloading images and videos from the internet, some of which he received directly from child victims he chatted with online.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Matthew Scarpino, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced the news on Monday, Feb. 26.

According to evidence from the trial, it was determined that between September 2022 and January 2023, Tennant obtained hundreds of videos and thousands of images of child pornography from the internet and directly from child victims.

The evidence also proved that Tennant later redistributed that same child pornography to others, including to other children to induce them to provide him with sexually explicit images and videos of themselves.

Tennant’s sentencing is scheduled for June 24, 2024, in Syracuse, before Chief United States District Judge Brenda K. Sannes. 

For each of his convictions on Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography, Tennant faces a term of imprisonment between five and twenty years and a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years on his conviction for Possession of Child Pornography. Tennant also faces a fine of up to $250,000, mandatory restitution to the victims, and a term of supervised release between five years and life. 

Tennant will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. A judge will impose his sentence based on the statute he is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

This case was investigated by HSI Syracuse, with assistance from the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian LaRochelle and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Tuck prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood.

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