SCHENECTADY – A city man arrested last fall on child pornography charges, who then fled the state for California, was sentenced this week to up to 11 years in prison, Schenectady County District Attorney’s officials said.
Lance Potter, 34, pleaded guilty in February to a total of five felonies, two counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child, two counts of possession of a sexual performance by a child and one count of second-degree bail jumping, officials said.
He was sentenced Tuesday to a total of 8 to 11 years in prison. That includes a separate 1-to-3-year term on the bail jumping charge, officials said.
The guilty pleas came weeks after state police brought Potter back from California after he’d fled the state in October, officials said. After missing a court appearance Nov. 13, members of the U.S. Marshalls tracked Potter down in an off-the-grid camp near San Diego and he was arrested.
Costs of Potter’s transport back to Schenectady were paid by the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office.
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney called the the initial child pornography investigation into Potter “one of the more egregious cases” his office has encountered..
It began in April 2019 as members of the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit downloaded thousands of images of child pornography or child exploitation that Potter was uploading to a peer-to-peer file sharing network, officials said.
Investigators then downloaded more images that Potter had shared in September. They then raided Potter’s residence Oct. 11 and arrested him.
Troopers seized electronic devices, including a cell phone. The phone yielded additional images of child pornography and exploitation, officials said.
Potter was arraigned and held for five days until being released Oct. 16. He then fled to California soon after.
Assistant District Attorney John Carson prosecuted. Potter was represented by the Schenectady County Conflict Defender’s Office.