A former Cooperstown teacher has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.
United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin Kelly, special agent in charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations announced Thursday that Justin Hobbie, 41, of Springfield Center, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
Hobbie was a gym and health teacher in Cooperstown, New York, until his arrest in December 2018. In pleading guilty, Hobbie admitted that from 2015 to 2018, he "persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced" three girls under the age of 16 to masturbate and show him their genitalia by transmitting live depictions of the sexually explicit activity to him. Hobbie allegedly recorded the acts so that he could look at them again.
Hobbie also admitted that he "persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced" the three girls to take and send him pictures of their genitalia. In response to Hobbie’s instructions to do so, the three children took lewd and lascivious pictures of their genitalia for him, and at his request sent those pictures to him using the Kik and Snapchat phone messaging applications. the release said.
Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy will sentence Hobbie on Dec. 19. Hobbie faces at least 15 years in prison on each count, with a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison per count. The term of imprisonment for each count can run concurrent or consecutive to the term of imprisonment for other counts, at the discretion of the Court. Hobbie will be required to serve a term of supervised release of at least five years and up to life, following his term of imprisonment. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
Hobbie will also be required to register as a sex offender.