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California man sentenced to 60 years in online pornography case involving upstate NY children


ALBANY, New York — A 41-year-old man from California has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to enticing four children in upstate New York to make online pornography.

Prosecutors say Dennis Whitt, of Marina, posed in a chat room as a 16-year-old and convinced the Jefferson County children, ranging in age from seven to 16, to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

Authorities say more than 10,000 videos and images were found on his computer.

In a sentencing memo, federal public defender Randi Bianco asked for a 19-year sentence, saying Whitt never physically met the victims or distributed the images.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher said Whitt coerced victims to sexually abuse each other, the investigation showed he had 35 victims across the country, and a tougher sentence was warranted.

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