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East Meadow man sentenced to 10 years for child pornography

Fernando Clarke was sentenced to 10 years in

Fernando Clarke was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for child pornography. Credit: James Carbone

A convicted child pornographer from East Meadow might have to pay restitution to one of his victims, in addition to serving 10 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Fernando Clarke, 64, a former investigator for the New York City Department of Correction, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Arthur D. Spatt, who sits in Central Islip. A jury had convicted Clarke on March 18 of seven counts of transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography.

As part of his sentence, Clarke must pay about $19,000 in fines and assessments, register as a sex offender and undergo five years of supervision after he is released — during which time he can have no unsupervised contact with minors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement.

By June 1, Spatt must also decide whether to honor a request for restitution from one of the victims depicted in Clarke’s collection of child pornography, prosecutors said.

“With every horrific file Clarke downloaded or shared with others, he compounded the unspeakable harm endured by these vulnerable victims,” acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan said.

The attorney representing Clarke was not available for comment Friday.

Clarke was arrested after a court-ordered search of his home on July 28, 2015, uncovered thousands of video files depicting the sexual abuse of preteen children, the prosecutors’ statement said.

U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said Clarke initially claimed that he had accessed child pornography for his job. He later admitted that he had not been authorized to do so, authorities have said.

Clarke was fired after he was convicted, prosecutors said.

“The fact that this individual used his law enforcement status to try to shield his crimes is particularly heinous, and a betrayal of all we stand for in protecting the children in our communities,” Angel M. Melendez, special agent-in-charge of Homeland Security Investigations, said.

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