A sentencing hearing for Clymer resident Scott Aikens, who pled guilty in July to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 24.
Barbara Burns, a public information officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo, said there is a chance the date could be moved, but said the original date remains the same for now. The sentencing will take place in a federal court in downtown Buffalo, New York, in front of U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.
Investigators seized a laptop and other electronic devices from Aikens in September 2018 that were found to contain a total of 683 videos and 22 images of child pornography.
The possession charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine, according to a previous press release issued by U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr., of the Western District of New York Department of Justice.
After pleading guilty, Aikens was released to his Clymer residence on the same conditions that were imposed after his arrest in September 2018 when he was approved for home confinement release. Once he is sentenced, it is not clear if Aikens will immediately report to prison.
"It all depends on the judge," Burns said. "Oftentimes, depending on the crime, a defendant is given time to put their affairs in order and they report on a date designated by the judge."
Aikens is a former Clymer Central School science and agricultural teacher who resigned from his position less than a month after being arrested.
Aikens' guilty plea is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Maj. Edward Kennedy.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Murray, who is handling the case, stated that in late June 2018, Homeland Security Investigations in Buffalo received information that a user, identified as "EJD," was active on the Thai based child pornography open website "Boyxzeed2.net.” Investigators traced the email address utilized by “EJD” to Aikens.
On Sept. 14, 2018, Homeland Security Investigations and the New York State Police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on Route 474 in Clymer and interviewed Aikens, who admitted that he viewed child pornography and that child pornography would be found on his laptop computer.
Some of the child pornography possessed by the defendant depicted prepubescent minors or minors less than 12 years of age, and some of the child pornography possessed by the defendant contained sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.