Brooklyn senior citizens charged with possession of child porn

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- Two men, ages 68 and 70, are under arrest and facing charges in a child pornography sting in Brooklyn.

They are charged in separate cases with possessing a sexual performance by a child for allegedly downloading disturbing images and videos of children depicted in a sexual manner or performing sexual acts with adults.

District Attorney Ken Thompson identified the suspects as 68-year-old Harvey Epstein, of Sheepshead Bay, and 70-year-old John DeCotis, of Old Mill Basin.

Epstein was arrested Thursday and charged with 221 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. He was in Brooklyn Criminal Court and ordered held on bail of $5,000 bond or $1,000 cash and to return to court on December 17, 2014.

DeCotis was arrested on October 2 and charged with 21 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. He was arraigned and ordered held on $7,500 bail and to return to court on April 24, 2015.

They each face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

"It is shocking that anyone, particularly men who are 68- and 70-years-old, would watch and collect such sick images," Thompson said. "The children in these videos are real children who are being sexually abused to satisfy deviants who troll the Internet. I am committed to fighting child exploitation and honored to have dedicated detectives in my Investigations Bureau who work tirelessly to protect innocent children."

According to the investigation, on October 1 and 2, a detective conducted an online "peer to peer" investigation to identify individuals sharing child pornography.

She identified a computer IP address and viewed downloaded files of boys and girls engaging in sex acts with adult men and women. The address was traced back to Epstein's apartment. A search warrant was later executed on a white tower computer found in the apartment, and detectives recovered 221 video files depicting children - including one in diapers - engaging in sex acts with adults or in sexual performances.

Authorities say DeCotis was nabbed in a similar operation. On September 5, a detective identified a computer IP address and viewed a downloaded file of a young girl dressed provocatively and engaging in sex acts with an adult.

That address was traced back to DeCotis's household. A search warrant on a Dell tower computer taken from the home found 21 video files depicting sexual performances by children. He allegedly told detectives that he had downloaded 50 to 100 videos over the last five or six years.
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