Monday, March 10, 2014

Former Court Officer Alberto Yard Pleads Guilty to Sexually Exploiting Children

A former court officer has pleaded guilty to conspiring to sexually exploit children.

Prior to his arrest, Alberto Yard had worked in Brooklyn Civil Court for more than 19 years. After pleading to the felony on Thursday before Eastern District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, he now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years incarceration. Sentencing was scheduled for July 10.

Yard, 45, was arrested in July, following a Google alert to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a user account that had uploaded 213 images of child pornography. The account was traced to Yard.

Many images depicted child pornography, but the account also contained "voyeuristic photographs of children." According to an arrest complaint, Yard told authorities he took pictures of children while on duty as an officer (NYLJ, July, 5, 2013).

After inspecting electronic equipment seized at Yard's residence, he was also charged with production of child pornography (NYLJ, July 15, 2013). Authorities ultimately determined Yard possessed thousands of images. He also has a co-defendant in the matter; her case is pending.

Yard was suspended without pay after his arrest. His attorney, Deveraux Cannick of Aiello Cannick in Queens, said his client opted to resign from his job early in the case. Cannick said Yard wanted any children connected to the case to avoid the experience of a trial and said his client, by pleading guilty, was "stepping up and acknowledging the wrong he committed."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Gandy handled the prosecution.

No comments: