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Feds: NY police investigator faces child porn charges

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A year-long child pornography investigation has led to the arrest of a New York State Police investigator from Long Island after federal agents said he downloaded videos of young girls in sexually explicit acts, Newsday reported April 3.

SeanMichael Pagano, 37, of Mount Sinai, appeared Thursday at US District Court in Central Islip for arraignment on charges of accessing child pornography. He was not required to enter a plea and was held without bail on a temporary order of detention, according to a spokesman for the US Attorney’s office.

Darcy Wells, a New York State Police spokeswoman, said Pagano – who has been working for the State Police since 2002 – has been suspended from his job without pay.

Pagano, who also worked as an assistant varsity lacrosse coach at Rocky Point High School, came on the FBI’s radar after agents raided a home in Anchorage, Alaska last year, where investigators believed the homeowner was distributing child pornography, according to a federal criminal complaint.

After that suspect began cooperating with agents, the FBI began to access his e-mail and a website used to download and exchange child pornography where they found Pagano viewing several videos involving young girls – between 2 and 9 years old – engaged in sexual acts, the complaint says. He also is alleged to have exchanged emails with other users on the site, expressing interest in obtaining child pornography, prosecutors allege.

When FBI agents raided Pagano’s home in Mount Sinai on Thursday and questioned him, he allegedly told them that the child pornography had been sent to his e-mail address by someone he met online. He also said he intended to report the individual to the State Police Computer Crime Unit, but didn’t file a report because he had deleted the images, the complaint said.

Federal agents said they were told by the State Police that Pagano “was not authorized to conduct child pornography investigations” and that he had not reported receiving or accessing the illicit images to his superiors.

Pagano’s attorney, Brian Davis, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement posted to the school district’s website, Rocky Point Superintendent Michael Ring said Pagano was hired in December 2013 and “cleared all background checks required for employment.” He continued: “This was his first season with the team and his only position within the district was in his part-time coaching capacity … He has been relieved of his duties as assistant coach.”

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