A New York City police officer from Holbrook accused of producing child pornography pleaded not guilty Friday to an indictment charging him with either sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children.
Carmine Simpson, 26, was arrested by FBI agents in January on a complaint stating he had been online with at least 46 minors whom he had asked to send sexually explicit photos, in which, in many instances, they also would hurt themselves.
The eleven-count indictment specifically accuses Simpson of three counts of sexual exploitation of young girls and two counts of sexual exploitation of young boys, as well as six counts of attempted sexual exploitation of young girls.
If convicted, Simpson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Simpson, who has been suspended without pay by the NYPD, had been a police officer for two years and was assigned to the 75th Precint in Brooklyn.
U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley at the telephone conference at the federal court in Central Islip also denied to release Simpson on bond from the federal jail in Brooklyn on the grounds that he was both a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Simpson’s defense attorney, Todd Greenberg, said his client was being held in “absolutely intolerable conditions,” including a high risk of getting the coronavirus, limited medical care, and being held essentially in, solitary confinement.
Greenberg said Simpson’s parents had offered to put up their house, in which their son lived as bond, and that his parents would supervise his activity.
Hurley commended his parents devotion to their son but said that in addition to the seriousness of the charges, there was “a compulsive aspect” that made him wonder if there were conditions that could restrain Simpson’s conduct outside jail.
The judge also praised Eastern District federal prosecutor Megan Farrell, who strongly opposed Simpson’s release, for attempting to alleviate some of the problems the police officer faced at the jail.
Greenberg said afterward that in eventually resolving his client’s legal issues, he is “looking forward to helping him…move on to the rest of his life.”
Spokesman for Eastern District prosecutors, John Marzulli, declined to comment.
According to prosecutors, Simpson went on Twitter, pretending he was 17 years old, and seeking out minors who appeared to be between 13- and 17-years-old. Simpson altered a picture of himself online so he would appear younger than his actual age, officials said.
Simpson asked his victims for “sexually exploitative photos and videos of themselves,” that included “hurting themselves” by beatings, and choking, prosecutors said.
At one point in court papers, federal prosecutor Farrell said that Simpson’s partner in a patrol car told investigators that “he was having intercourse with a the 13-year-old female pictured in one of the photos that he had in his phone.” Farrell said the partner told investigators that Simpson was “routinely texting and viewing child pornography on his cellular phone while he was at work.”
Greenberg, however, strongly denied that his client had ever had sex with the girl.