Esperance man sentenced to federal prison term

Feb. 8—A Schoharie man was sentenced Thursday to a term in prison for possessing child pornography.

According to a media release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York, John C. Hotaling, 62, of Esperance, was sentenced 15 years and eight months in federal prison. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Craig L. Tremaroli, special agent in charge of the Albany Field Office of the FBI; and State Police Acting Superintendent Steven G. James.

According to the release, as part of his earlier guilty plea on the eve of trial, Hotaling admitted that in 2020, he possessed child pornography images, some of which he created by photoshopping the faces of children onto nude adult bodies engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a process known as "morphing." Hotaling was on supervised release at the time for a 2009 conviction for engaging in the same conduct. He also admitted to violating his terms and conditions of supervised release and was sentenced to an additional 12 months in prison for the supervised release violation, the release said.

U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby ordered Hotaling to serve the 12 months consecutively to the 188-month term imposed for new criminal conduct.

Suddaby also imposed a life term of supervised release to begin upon Hotaling's completion of his prison term, and ordered Hotaling to forfeit the laptop he used to commit the offenses. Hotaling must also register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

Project Safe Childhood is led by U.S. Attorney's offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. Project Safe Childhood "marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims," the release said. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.