Smithtown real estate investor Joseph Valerio of Smithtown, seen here...

Smithtown real estate investor Joseph Valerio of Smithtown, seen here in a file photo, is charged with sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

A federal prosecutor told a jury Tuesday that a Smithtown real estate investor standing trial on child pornography charges produced "custom-made home videos" involving two young girls -- a Smithtown 6-year-old and a 3-year-old living in Ukraine.

Eastern District prosecutor Ameet Kabrawala spoke to the jury of 10 women and two men at the opening of Joseph Valerio's trial in federal court in Central Islip. He is charged with sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

One of Valerio's defense attorneys, Leonard Lato of Hauppauge, told the jury that it's not clear who produced the materials. He argued that Valerio's former Ukrainian girlfriend, Olena Kalichenko, or some other person could have just as easily produced the videos.

"We know what happened to the children, but we don't know who" filmed them, said Lato, who, along with Anthony La Pinta, also of Hauppauge, is defending Valerio.

Lato said that Kalichenko could have sent the child pornography involving the 3-year-old to Valerio's home computer, where he did not access it. Lato also said Kalichenko could have recorded the pornography involving the 6-year-old when she was living with Valerio in Smithtown.

Valerio was arrested in February by FBI agents and Suffolk detectives after Kalichenko returned to Ukraine. She subsequently contacted an FBI agent in Kiev.

Kalichenko told the agent she had been making the pornographic videos at Valerio's request, but that he had "threatened to stop sending her money if she did not produce these videos." She said he had sent her up to $12,000.

At that time, Valerio was released on $3 million bail.

Three weeks later, Valerio was rearrested and held without bail, after a search of his home uncovered the pornography involving the 6-year-old, said Kabrawala, who is prosecuting the case along with assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode.

The investigators also found what looked like a stage set up in the basement of the home where hidden cameras had apparently recorded the child pornography involving the 6-year-old, Kabrawala said.

Kalichenko was arrested on exploitation and child pornography charges by FBI agents and Suffolk County detectives in July when she returned from Ukraine under the impression she would testify against Valerio, according to officials.

She is now being held as a flight risk on the child pornography charges, officials have said.

Kalichenko's attorney, Terry Buckley of Commack, declined to comment when reached by telephone Tuesday.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco is expected to last into next week.

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