By Bill Parry
An East Elmhurst man has been sentenced to one to three years in prison after pleading guilty to promoting a sexual performance by a child, Queens DA Richard Brown announced last Thursday. Computer technicians discovered sexually explicit photographs of children on the defendant’s computer after he dropped it off for repairs at a Long Island City Best Buy store in March 2014.
Michael Murray, 63, pleaded guilty Feb. 3 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter to promoting a sexual performance by a child. Buchter sentenced the defendant to one to three years in prison May 4.
“The defendant pleaded guilty to having vile, disturbing images of children on his computer hard drive,” Brown said. “He even used these repugnant photos as a screen saver slide show.”
According to the charges, a technician at the Best Buy located at 50-01 Northern Blvd. began to work on the laptop computer that Murray dropped off for repairs March 26, 2014. When the technician turned on the computer, it booted up and the laptop’s screen saver started displaying a slide show of multiple images of young girls posing provocatively.
Some of the images showed young girls engaged in sex acts with adult men. The technician alerted a supervisor to the slide show’s content and after he, too, saw the images, police were notified.
When police went to the defendant’s home soon afterwards, Murray admitted that he knew what was on his screen saver and had been exchanging files of child pornography with others on the Internet for nearly five years, according to the charges. A forensic analysis by the NYPD’s Computer Crime Squad revealed the defendant’s computer had more than 300 images of children between the ages of 2 and 3 being sexually abused.
“It is vitally important for the public to realize that these photographs depict real children who have been sexually abused,” Brown said. “They are youngsters who will forever be emotionally and physically scarred by what happened to them, The defendant will be incarcerated and will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr