Child pornography, going to trial over coercion charges admitted by Sex offender

UTICA, N.Y. — A registered sex offender from Auburn admitted today that he distributed child pornography, but plans to go to trial on charges of trying to coerce what he thought was a 12-year-old boy into sex.

Michael J. Mahannah, 32, pleaded guilty to 18 counts of receiving, possessing and distributing child pornography.

But in an unusual twist, he’s scheduled to go to trial on two more serious charges of trying to coerce someone he thought was a boy into sex.

That trial is scheduled to start May 31 before U.S. District Judge David Hurd.

Mahannah faces a possible mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for the child pornography charges. He’ll face a mandatory minimum of 20 years if he’s convicted of the remaining two charges. So an acquittal on those charges could save him five years in prison.

His lawyer, Federal Public Defender Lisa Peebles, refused to comment.

Mahannah was charged two years ago with attempted coercion and enticement of someone he thought was a minor, committing a felony against a minor by a registered sex offender, and distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography.

The person Mahannah is accused of trying to entice was actually an undercover state trooper, according to court papers.

Mahannah has been on the New York State Sex Offender Registry since 2009, when he was convicted of sexual misconduct for having sexual contact with a 6-year-old boy, according to the state website.

Source: http://www.newyorknews7.com/us/sex-offender-admits-to-child-pornography-going-to-trial-over-coercion-charges-h114783.html