Subscribe for 33¢ / day

AUBURN — An Auburn man has admitted sharing a video depicting a naked girl. 

Christopher Harrington, of 57 Walnut St., pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, a class D felony. 

Harrington was arrested in October and charged with possessing and promoting child pornography, both felonies. At the time, New York State Police said Harrington had downloaded a combination of images and videos of underage children, images Investigator Anthony Gower called "God-awful." 

Officers launched an investigation in March after Harrington was reported to police through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A search warrant revealed Harrington had possessed and distributed several images and videos at his home on Walnut Street. One showed a girl between 7 and 9 years old.

In court Tuesday, Harrington told Judge Mark Fandrich he shared a video of a young girl via Dropbox. He said he knew the video showed "a child exposing herself in a lewd manner." 

Harrington could face up to seven years in prison. However, Fandrich agreed to sentence him to six months in jail and 10 years probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender. 

Harrington remained out on $1,000 cash bail. His sentencing was scheduled for March 27. 

Also in court: 

• An Auburn man will spend the next six months in Cayuga County Jail for attempting to have sex with a preteen girl. 

In December, 27-year-old Matthew DeSimone pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree attempted rape, a class E felony. At the time, he admitted to messaging who he thought was a 12-year-old girl for sex; however, DeSimone said he later discovered it had been a trooper with New York State Police. 

In court Tuesday, DeSimone, of 51 Maple St., appeared before Judge Fandrich, but before he was sentenced, he had to address what the Cayuga County district attorney called "misleading statements." 

According to District Attorney Jon Budelmann, DeSimone seemed to shirk his responsibility in a probation report, in which he allegedly denied knowing that he was trying to message a 12-year-old girl for sex. But Budelmann said text messages showed DeSimone had asked the girl how old she was, to which she responded, "I'll be 13 in a few months." 

"These cases are disturbing," Budelmann said, noting that DeSimone had purchased condoms and driven over 25 miles to meet the girl at the Fingerlakes Mall in Aurelius. "The conduct here is frightening." 

Rome Canzano, DeSimone's defense attorney, agreed. 

Despite DeSimone's overall cooperation with the investigation, Canzano said he was also concerned by his client's statements to the probation department. 

Dressed in a suit and tie, DeSimone apologized to the court and to his family, and said he took full responsibility for his crime. Canzano added that DeSimone had undergone an evaluation with mental health and had begun engaging in treatment. 

In the end, Fandrich upheld the agreed-upon sentence of six months in jail and 10 years probation. He also ordered that DeSimone register as a sex offender upon his release from custody. 

• An Auburn teen has admitted robbing a cell phone store in Cayuga County. 

Jamar Lenton Jr., 18, of 20 Barber St., pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of third-degree robbery, a class D felony. During his plea, he told the court he helped his co-defendant, Courtney Donovan, rob Fast Trak Wireless on South Street in June. Donovan admitted her part in the crime last month. 

Police said the pair forcibly stole 10 cell phones valued at approximately $4,200 and damaged a $700 display case. In court Tuesday, Budelmann said most of the phones had been recovered. 

As a condition of his plea of guilty, Fandrich agreed to sentence Lenton to no worse than one to three years in prison with a shock camp order. He also said he would consider granting youthful offender status. 

Lenton remained out on $250 cash bail. His sentencing was scheduled for March 27. 

• A Moravia man was sentenced Tuesday to five years probation and time served for damaging a car with a tire iron and shovel. 

In November, Dusty Townsend, 27, of 1997 Townline Road, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal mischief, a class E felony. While he could have faced up to four years in prison, Fandrich sentenced him to a term of shock probation. He also ordered Townsend to pay roughly $2,200 in restitution for the damage he caused to the vehicle in January 2017. 

• An Auburn man was sentenced to five years probation for violating an order of protection in August. 

Ronald Ostrander, 28, of 35 Cayuga St., pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal contempt in December. At the time, he admitted to having a physical altercation with a 28-year-old woman at Oak Creek Town Homes. The woman had an order of protection put in place against Ostrander earlier last year. 

As a condition of Ostrander's probation, Fandrich said he will have to successfully complete Auburn Behavioral Health Court. If he fails, he could face one to three years in prison. 

• An Albany woman was sentenced to prison Tuesday for smuggling synthetic drugs into Cayuga Correctional Facility. 

Ginger Wood, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree promoting prison contraband in September. During her plea, she told the court she had attempted to bring 70 grams of synthetic marijuana into the Moravia prison in exchange for cash. 

On Tuesday, Budelmann said there were seven occasions in which Wood previously used a false name to smuggle drugs into facilities. He said it was a "cash-driven issue" and pointed out that Wood has had a "rough 28 years." 

Fandrich said he agreed that Wood had a difficult past. He ultimately sentenced her to one to three years in prison with a shock camp order. 

"It appears you have had a very sad life and I'm sorry for that," he said. "But you still need to be held responsible for your crime in Cayuga County." 

Staff writer Megan Blarr can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or megan.blarr@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @CitizenBlarr. 

1
2
0
1
1

Crime and Courts Reporter