On April 26, 2022, a trial in Schenectady County Court that began on April 19, 2022 concluded with a verdict convicting Ryan Clark (DOB: 8/15/1983) of fifty  counts of Possession of a Sexual Performance of a Child, all class E felonies in violation of New York State Penal Law Section 263.16. The jury reached a verdict of guilty on all fifty  charged counts after deliberating for approximately forty-five  minutes.
Mr. Clark, a 38-year-old resident of Schenectady, was found guilty of possessing fifty  separate images of girls under the age of sixteen engaged in sexual performances. Although defined and titled differently in the Penal Law the images are child pornography in common parlance. The contents of the images appeared to be solely comprised of prepubescent females. The images were discovered after the Troy Police Department began a separate investigation into alleged criminal conduct by Ryan Clark in March of 2019. On April 22, 2019, members of the Troy Police Department, led by Det. Sgt. Stephen Seney, in conjunction with the Schenectady Police Department and the New York State Police Troop G Computer Crimes Unit based in Latham New York executed search warrants targeting two addresses associated with Ryan Clark, one in Troy and one in Schenectady. At the Schenectady address more than twenty  electronic devices were seized.
Those items were sent to the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit in Latham New York, where Senior Investigator William Martin completed forensic analysis of those items. Sr. Inv. Martin located over one thousand [1,000] images of child exploitation on one of the hard drives. Many of those images had been deleted from the hard drive but Sr. Inv. Martin was able to recover them using his specialized computer tools and training. All those images showed underage females in a sexualized fashion, but only certain images met the statutory definition of child pornography in New York State to be appropriate for charging. In addition to the images of child exploitation Sr. Inv. Martin located other material that tied Mr. Clark to the use and possession of the hard drive including but not limited to family photos, personal emails, social media usage, and online shopping. Sr. Inv. Martin then referred the case to the Schenectady Police Department for charging because the hard drive was located at Mr. Clark’s residence in Schenectady. The Schenectady Police Department, in consultation with the Schenectady District Attorney’s Office, charged the defendant with three  counts of Possession of a Sexual Performance by a Child. Subsequently, a Schenectady County Grand Jury returned the fifty  count indictment under which the defendant now stands convicted.
Mr. Clark faces a maximum sentence of one and one-third to four years [1 1/3 -4] on each guilty count. As each count represents an individual image of a child, consecutive sentencing could be imposed upon each conviction. Under another provision of the New York State Criminal Procedure Law, Mr. Clark could not actually serve a sentence longer than an indeterminate range of ten to twenty years [10-20] regardless of the total sentence imposed. The defendant will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from custody. Orders of Protection will not be sought by the District Attorney’s Office for the girls contained in the images because their identities are unknown to the People or Mr. Clark.
District Attorney Robert M. Carney stated: “Although we don’t know the identities of these child victims, whose images were undoubtedly downloaded from internet sources, we take these crimes very seriously. This investigation began because of an allegation that Mr. Clark utilized these or similar images in another jurisdiction in connection with efforts to groom a child for his own deviant purposes. Although that allegation has not been proven, I commend ADA Carson for going forward with this prosecution and holding him accountable for his behavior here.”
The case was tried by Assistant District Attorney John J. Carson on behalf of the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant Schenectady County Conflict Defender Joseph Gardner represented Mr. Clark. Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Mark J. Caruso presided over the trial. For further information, contact ADA John Carson at (518) 810-7365.