Officials appeal suspect’s release

ALBANY – Federal prosecutors say a Mayfield man accused of producing child pornography should be incarcerated while he awaits trial on the charges against him.

Robert Hastings, 21, of 171 Yates Road, Mayfield, was charged Aug. 8 by federal authorities along with his brother Richard Hastings, 18, with producing child pornography.

Richard Hastings remains incarcerated while he awaits further court proceedings.

A judge allowed Robert Hastings to stay with his mother in Mayfield while he awaits trial.

Authorities allege that between July 27 and 29, the brothers produced sexually explicit photographs of a 7-year-old child and posted some of them on a website and emailed some to an undercover investigator in Australia.

Sean O’Dowd, assistant U.S. attorney and prosecutor of the case, said Richard Hastings confessed to touching the victim.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Randolph Treece, who oversaw the proceedings in August, decided to allow Robert Hastings to stay with his mother under certain conditions.

O’Dowd appealed the decision.

On Sept. 4, the U.S. District Attorney’s Northern Office filed an affidavit in support of the motion to review and revoke Hastings’ order of release. In the affidavit, Todd Turner, special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, made the government’s case.

According to Turner, new information was obtained by HSI agents on Aug. 22. According to the affidavit, an assessment of the victim by a therapist at the Fulton County Child Advocacy Center revealed the victim told the therapist the Hastings brothers touched her private area.

According to the affidavit, forensic examination, though incomplete, of Richard Hastings’ computer revealed he had been involved in sexually explicit Skype chats that describe sex with an unidentified correspondent that appears to be a diaper-wearing child, or someone impersonating one.

According to the affidavit, also found on the computer were:

“Lolicon” games. Lolicon is a Japanese term describing an attraction to underage girls.

Incest manga, Japanese comics that sometimes features explicit sexuality.

More than 645 hentai, Japanese for perverse or taboo sexual pictures.

Babysitting Games, a sexually explicit story of Japanese influence that is tagged with an “underage” warning.

O’Dowd said in August Robert Hastings shot two videos with a webcam, one 40 seconds long and another roughly two minutes. The videos include lewd images of the victim, authorities say.

Paul J. Evangelista, Robert Hastings’ attorney, argued the allegations would not create a greater danger or risk of flight.

“The defense argues that the conditions established by Judge Treece, including those required by the Adam Walsh Act, protect the public and assure Mr. Hastings will return to court,” Evangelista said in his response to the affidavit.

If found guilty of production of child pornography, each of the defendants would face a minimum of 15 years in prison and up to a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000.