Syracuse, N.Y. — A Cortland County man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday after he admitted to having his wife sexual abuse a 3-year-old boy on video and send it to him, federal prosecutors said.
Lawrence Berry, 28, of Marathon pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiracy to sexually exploit a child and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
Berry’s wife, Brittany, admitted that she had, in fact, sexually abused the 3-year-old boy, Special Agent James Markovich wrote in an federal affidavit. The abuse occurred in August and September of 2018, federal prosecutors said.
The couple were in a long-distance relationship at the time, and Lawrence Berry had his wife send him explicit videos and pictures on five different occasions via Facebook Messenger, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Brittany Berry sent the photos and videos of the abuse to her husband over Facebook, Markovich said. Lawrence Berry requested she abuse the child and a dog, or he would be “gone for good”, according to Lawrence Berry’s confession.
Investigators wrote in court papers that they learned of the abuse when officers responded to Brittany Berry’s apartment for a report of a suicidal woman. She told officers she was feeling suicidal because “everyone was calling her a child molester,” according to the court papers.
Berry pleaded guilty for her role in the offense and is scheduled to be sentenced in December, federal prosecutors said.
In addition to his 30-year sentenced, Lawrence Berry will also be subjected to 25 years of supervised release to begin after he serves his term of imprisonment, federal prosecutors said. Berry also will be required to register as a sex offender in any state where he lives, is employed or is a student, they said.
The FBI and the City of Cortland Police Department investigated this case. It prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Gadarian and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian LaRochelle as part of Project Safe Childhood.