By Philip Newman
ASTORIA — An Astoria man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, the Queens district attorney said.
A cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to the arrest of Charles Flores, 23, according to Queens DA Richard Brown. Flores pleaded guilty in April to possession of a sexual performance by a child before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Gia Morris, who sentenced him to one to three years.
“The defendant has now been sentenced to prison time for uploading and having thousands of images and videos of children — some as young as 5 — being sexual abused by adults,” Brown said. “The defendant admitted when pleading guilty that his curiosity led to a sick obsession. Photos and videos of children being molested and abused are, for all intents and purposes, crime scene images.”
Brown said that according to the charges, an NYPD detective got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a Google mail account that had uploaded two images possibly involving child exploitation. When interviewed by police, the defendant admitted that it was his email address and, during a forensic preview of Flores’ hard drive, investigators found 20 images of prepubescent children roughly between five and 12 being sexually abused by adult males, the DA said.
When he was arrested, the defendant told police he began seeking child pornography to help his girlfriend, according to Brown.
— Philip Newman