Penn Yan man indicted on child pornography charges

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express

District attorney says accused man had over 12,000 obscene, sexual images of children, some as young as toddlers.

Michael V. Thompson, 36, of Penn Yan, was arraigned Tuesday, March 29 in Yates County Criminal Court after a grand jury handed down a 23-count indictment accusing him of possessing and promoting over 12,000 images obscene sexual performances involving children.

PENN YAN — A Penn Yan man was arraigned Tuesday, March 29 in Yates County Criminal Court after a grand jury handed down a 23-count indictment accusing him of possessing and promoting images of obscene sexual performances by children.

Michael V. Thompson, 36, is charged with 11 counts of possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child (class E felonies), 11 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child (class D felonies) and one count of obscenity (class D felony).

Appearing before Yates Country Judge Jason Cook and represented by Assistant Public Defender James Ferratella, Thompson entered a plea of not guilty.

Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella told the court that Thompson actually possessed over 12,000 unique pictures or videos of child pornography on his computers, including some involving children as young as toddlers.

"I've never heard of a case involving such a volume of images," Casella said in court. Citing that extreme number of victims, the potential for consecutive sentences or substantial length, Casella asked that Thompson's previous pre-trial release be revoked, and for the court to impose bail. 

Cook agreed, imposing bail of $2,000 cash, $4,000 bond, or $8,000 partially secured bond. Thompson is scheduled to next appear in court June 21 for argument of motions.

Casella says that Thompson was arrested by New York State Police following their investigation. He also says there is no indication that any of the child victims were local to Yates County.

Prior to his indictment, Thompson was offered a plea bargain of three counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child (class D felony) with a promise of no more that 4-12 years total in prison on consecutive sentences. Now indicted by a grand jury, if convicted at trail, Thompson faces consecutive sentences on 11 counts.