Benjamin Crout possessed thousands of images of exploited children
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Benjamin Crout, 39, of Bath, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to possession of child pornography by an individual with a prior sex offense, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire, who is handling the case, stated that in August 2004, Crout was convicted in Steuben County Court of Possessing Sexual Performance by a Child Less than 16 and Attempted Sexual Abuse in the 1st Degree. In June 2022, law enforcement received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, that an individual uploaded six files containing child pornography to a Google Drive account. Investigators tracked the IP address to Crout’s residence. On January 26, 2023, a search warrant was executed at Crout’s residence during which a tablet and cell phone containing images of child pornography were seized. The devices collectively contained 1,323 images and 47 videos of child pornography, some of which included infants/toddlers engaged in sexually explicit conduct and depictions of violence.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eugene Staniszewski.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 4, 2024, before Judge Siragusa.