Schenectady man sentenced after guilty plea for child pornography

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Lance Potter mugshot. (Schenectady Police Department)

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Authorities say Lance Potter, 44, of Schenectady was sentenced to eight to 11 years in prison, followed by 10 years of parole and registration as a sex offender, after pleading guilty to jumping bail on child pornography charges.

In both April and September 2019, undercover state police downloaded thousands of images of child sexual abuse that Potter had shared online. Police executed a search warrant on Potter’s Schenectady home in October 2019, seizing electronic devices, including a cell phone, in the raid. The phone contained additional images of child abuse and exploitation.

Though Potter was arrested, arraigned, and held for possessing and promoting the images, he did not return to face the charges that November. “The defendant never voluntarily returned to court,” according to the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office. Instead, he fled to California.

U.S. Marshals found him living in an off-grid camper near San Diego. He was extradited back to the Capital Region in January.

District Attorney Robert M. Carney stated: “Although we do not have unlimited funds with which to pursue extraditions as expensive as one from the other side of the country, I believe it was important to bring him back to reinforce our commitment to the protection of children from sexual exploitation, and to discourage other defendants from fleeing to escape justice,” said District Attorney Robert M. Carney. “This is one of the more egregious cases of child pornography that we have encountered”

In February, Potter was indicted on 101 counts by a grand jury in Schenectady County. He ultimately pleaded guilty to possession of a sexual performance by a child, promoting a sexual performance by a child as a sexually motivated felony, and second-degree bail jumping.

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