A Cortland County couple is now facing federal sex charges, a week after their arrest for allegedly abusing a child and possessing child pornography.
Christopher M. Perry, 35, and his girlfriend Sarah R. Gates, 38, were charged Thursday in Syracuse federal court with felony sexual exploitation of a child.
The Cortland Police Department, arrested Perry and Gates on April 4 after executing a search warrant, accused the couple of sexually abusing a girl under the age of 11 over the span of one-and-a-half to two years.
In federal court documents made public Thursday, a special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the investigation was launched after New York State Police were forwarded a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The tip alleged child pornography had been uploaded to Facebook from Perry's residence.
When state police executed a search warrant at Perry's home, they found two cellphones, at least one of which allegedly contained images of a girl being subjected to sexually explicit conduct by Perry and Gates.
Court documents indicate the girl was approximately 5 years old, and the images depicting sexual abuse appear to have been produced between 2017 and 2019.
Christopher Perry and Sarah Gates face new federal charges a week after being arrested by Cortland police in a child sex abuse case.