A Greenwich man, Christopher Bates Jr, 37, an attorney admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty on Wednesday in New Haven to a child exploitation offense.
The news was announced by the US Dept of Justice and according to court documents and statements, an international law investigation revealed that an IP address at Bates’ residence was being used to access the dark web to view images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children.
On Nov 30, 2022, Homeland Security Investigations agents interviewed Bates, who consented to a search of his electronic devices.
A forensic review of one of his laptops revealed approximately 1,222 images and two videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including infants.
Bates pleaded guilty to possessing and accessing with intent to view child pornography, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
A sentencing date has not been scheduled.
Bates was arrested on December 13, 2022. He is released on a $300,000 bond under electronic monitoring pending sentencing.
The matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of Greenwich Police Dept. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neeraj N. Patel and Daniel Gordon.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.