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U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Derek Hagen, 29, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with producing, receiving, distributing, and possessing child pornography. The charges carry a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in September 2020, Snapchat sent a cybertip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a user that had uploaded images of child pornography to a group chat. After tracing the user to Western New York, NCMEC alerted the New York State Police, who subsequently identified the defendant.
On July 20, 2021, investigators confiscated two computers and a cell phone from Hagen’s apartment in Mount Morris, NY. A forensic analysis uncovered a pattern of child exploitation activity on the devices with the defendant actively producing and distributing child pornography in online chats. During the chats, Hagen and the other individuals traded child pornography and discussed specific children that they had sexually abused or wanted to sexually abuse. To date, analysts have recovered approximately 50,000 of images and videos of child pornography on Hagen’s devices.
The complaint further states that the defendant worked in several teaching, substitute teaching, and child-care positions in the Western District of New York, including at the Brockport Childhood Development Center; the Batavia City School District; the Pembroke Central School District; and most recently with the Dansville Central School District.
Members of the public who have information related to this case are asked to contact Homeland Security Investigations at (716) 464-6070 or email@example.com.
The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Barry Chase, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Scarpino, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.