Richard Hastings took a little road trip from his cell in the Rensselaer County Jail to Mayfield Town Court last week to hear new charges read against him.
The 18-year-old was arrested along with his brother Robert, 21, at their Yates Road home in Mayfield back in August.
At the time, they were each charged with production of child pornography in U.S. District Court in Albany. The pair of brothers allegedly made sexually explicit photos and video of a 7-year-old child and then emailed them to an individual who turned out to be an undercover agent in Australia.
While assisting in the Department of Homeland Security investigation, state police uncovered grounds for additional state-level charges against Richard Hastings, spokesman Trooper Mark Cepiel said. He was charged last week with first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Cepiel could not comment on exactly what actions brought the most recent charges, saying only that they were related to the child pornography case but stemmed from a separate incident. “They’re related but separate,” he said.
Both brothers are facing the same federal child pornography charges, but each is accused of slightly different acts.
Richard Hastings produced explicit photos of the 7-year-old child between July 27 and 29, prosecutors said at the time of his August arrest. He also posted some of the photos on a website and emailed others to an undercover investigator with the Queensland Police, prosecutors said.
Robert Hastings is accused of recording a sexually explicit video of the child Aug. 2.
Both brothers are awaiting indictment, according to the clerk’s office at U.S. District Court in Albany. If convicted, they each face a minimum of 15 years in prison, and the new state charges against Richard Hastings could bring another 15 years, according to Cepiel.
The child pornography charges came at the federal level because the illicit material crossed state lines. Whatever Hastings allegedly did to prompt the new charges did not cross state lines, which is why it’s being handled on the state level.
Cepiel also refused to comment on why only Richard Hastings was brought up on new charges and not his brother Robert, who is also incarcerated at the moment.
Following his Mayfield Town Court appearance last week, Richard Hastings was promptly taken back to jail in Troy, where he will stay until another court date scheduled for later this month.