New York Education Official Arrested on Child Pornography Charges after Sting Operation
PUBLISHED BY: Brill Legal Group
New York, NY(Law Firm Newswire) February 20, 2020 – A senior official of the New York City Department of Education was arrested on child enticement and possession of child pornography charges after an undercover operation led by police officers in Neenah, Wisconsin.
David A. Hay, former deputy chief of staff for Chancellor Richard Carranza, was charged in federal court as the alleged incident that led to his arrest occurred across state lines. He could face 10 years to life in prison if convicted. Hay was fired after his arrest.
A statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Hay used a dating app to have “sexually explicit conversations” with an undercover police officer who was posing as a 14-year-old boy. Hay, 39, allegedly made plans to meet with the minor to participate in sexual activity in a “whirlpool suite” at a Neenah hotel.
According to the investigator, Hay booked the hotel room but backed out of the meeting at the last minute. The former Department of Education official sent the boy a message that said, “I’m a bit scared.” He added that his hesitation was due to the age difference between them.
“In child pornography cases, prosecutors tend to present evidence as irrefutable and use it to mount considerable pressure on the accused,” commented Peter Brill, a New York criminal defense attorney with Brill Legal Group, who is not involved with the case. “Anyone who is facing child pornography charges should retain an experienced attorney who knows how to stand up to overzealous prosecutors. In this case, the meeting between the ‘14-year-old boy’ and the defendant did not actually appear to take place. In fact, he canceled the encounter.”
Hay was arrested at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee and held at Winnebago County Jail on a charge of use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. He was later released. However, he will be subject to home detention and electronic monitoring.
Investigators searched Hay’s cellphone and found graphic sexual photos of a former Tomah High School student on it. Hay was principal of the Wisconsin school from 2011 to 2014. The male student confirmed he was under age 18 when the images were taken.
The student told authorities that he never engaged in inappropriate conduct with Hay when he was under 18, but he may have sent the photos to Hay as an adult. There were questions about the strength of the charge against Hay as the individual in the images was about 20 years old in 2015 when the photos were saved to Hay’s phone.
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