A teacher from the region who's involved in youth sports was arrested by the FBI for allegedly possessing child porn.

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On Tuesday, 72-year-old Richard Leaf of Somer was arrested and charged with receiving and possessing videos and images containing child pornography.

“Richard Leaf is alleged to have engaged in deeply disturbing sexual communications with minors, and in being in possession of child pornography. Child pornography inflicts immeasurable damage upon innocent victims, and this Office and our FBI partners will continue to exhaustively detect, identify, and charge any individuals engaged in this sinister conduct," U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated.

Between March 2019 and April 2020, Leaf posed as a teenager named “Alex Bronson” to communicate via Skype with a minor who Leaf believed was 15, according to the allegations contained in the complaint. During the course of these communications, the minor sent Leaf a video of himself masturbating in the shower and a fully nude photo of himself in a bedroom, officials say.

In addition, law enforcement officers allegedly uncovered almost a dozen images and videos containing child pornography on Leaf's home computer.

“As our society continues to become more reliant on technology, more of our children are exposed to the most despicable predators - those searching out young children to sexually exploit them. As we allege in this case, Mr. Leaf used Skype to chat with his victims. I'd like to stress to parents that although these contacts may occur in a virtual world, they harm your children in the real world. These criminals inflict lasting damage to their victims, and both parents and guardians need to be aware of the dangers their children face," FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said.

Leaf is a retired teacher. He's the voice of Iona College basketball, a high school basketball announcer and soccer referee, according to his Twitter account. He was inducted into the Westchester County Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

The complaint further alleges that Leaf created fictitious accounts on Chat Avenue, an online chatroom website, and Skype to communicate with minors. The usernames of some of Leaf's alleged fictitious accounts include:

  • alex bronson
  • sportsboi.15
  • alex15
  • 15brandon
  • zach.914
  • runnerboi.14
  • austinf19
  • sportsgirl.914
  • brandon.williams.23
  • dan.dan77771
  • beachsand.7
  • Austin A

"The list provides known fake handles Mr. Leaf allegedly used to contact children. Please take a look and have a conversation with your child. If you believe they've been in contact with Mr. Leaf, please call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI or reach us online at tips.fbi.gov," Sweeney Jr. added.

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