A Mechanicville man already awaiting sentencing in a federal child pornography case abruptly admitted to one felony count of first-degree criminal sex act Wednesday during a change of plea in Saratoga County Court.
Robert V. McLaughlin, 58, now faces five to 25 years in state prison. His plea came absent an agreement with the prosecutor’s office, meaning he could end up facing the maximum sentence for a violent felony.
“We’re confident the judge will exercise his good discretion in finding a sentence that’s appropriate for this defendant,” District Attorney Karen Heggen said.
McLaughlin was initially accused of abusing a child under the age of 11 and then possessing images of the abuse after a May raid on his home by state police. Later, he was federally charged with producing child pornography.
McLaughlin admitted to two counts of production of child pornography in November and now faces 15 to 30 years in prison when sentenced in federal court March 12. As part of his plea, McLaughlin admitted he engaged in sexually explicit conduct with two young girls between 2012 and 2014, with the aim of producing visual depictions. He is expected to be sentenced separately in Saratoga County Court in the spring.