SCHENECTADY - A city man arrested last fall on child pornography charges, who then fled the state for California, has admitted to charges connected both, Schenectady County District Attorney's officials said.
Lance Potter, 34, pleaded guilty this past week 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 is to receive a total sentence of 8 to 11 years in state 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.
The initial child pornography investigation into Potter began last April 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.
"This is one of the more egregious cases of child pornography that we have encountered," Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said in a statement, "and although we do not have unlimited funds with which to pursue extraditions as expensive as one from the other side of the country, I believe it was important to bring him back to reinforce our commitment to the protection of children from sexual exploitation and to discourage other defendants from fleeing to escape justice."
Potter is to be sentenced later to seven years on the child pornography charges and then a consecutive term of 1 to 3 years for bail jumping, officials said.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Carson. Potter is being represented by the Schenectady County Conflict Defender's Office.