A senior state parole official in charge of officers who supervise paroled sex offenders is accused of possessing child pornography, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday.
The complaint accuses James Leone, of Bethpage, with possessing video images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Leone was arrested at his Long Island home earlier Tuesday.
The 50-year-old Leone made an initial court appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. He was released on $500,000 bond and is limited to home confinement and subject to electronic monitoring. The judge also ordered his service weapon confiscated.
His attorney, Joseph Conway, had no comment on the charges.
Peter Cutler, a spokesman for the state Correction Department, said Leone had been a parole officer since 1994. He said he was promoted to senior parole officer in 2001 in New York City and transferred to the Long Island office in 2005. Cutler declined to comment on the allegations but said Leone had been suspended from his $88,256-a-year position.
The federal complaint, filed by an investigator with the Department of Homeland Security, details lurid images of children being abused by adults in various sexual acts. Officials from the state inspector general's office assisted in the investigation.
An undercover operation on Sept. 4 revealed computer addresses that were offering or had been previously sharing child pornography online via a peer-to-peer program, according to the complaint. Based on the preliminary investigation, a search warrant was issued last week to search Leone's computer in his home.
He told investigators he had downloaded about 10 to 15 child pornography videos over the past year, the complaint said.