NEW YORK (AP) — A former police sergeant who persuaded women to sexually abuse babies and young children and help him make pornography was sentenced on Wednesday to 28 years in prison.
Alberto Randazzo, 40, was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge in Brooklyn. Prosecutors had asked that he serve 35 years in prison while defense lawyers had requested 15 years, the mandatory minimum required after he pleaded guilty in July to conspiring to sexually exploit a child and receiving child pornography.
In court papers, prosecutors identified five women who they said sexually abused children to satisfy Randazzo's sexual desires. Two women have pleaded guilty to charges in the case, and a third awaits trial. One woman has been sentenced to five years in prison while another has yet to be sentenced.
Prosecutors said Randazzo, a 15-year member of the New York Police Department, targeted women between 2010 and 2013 on websites such as Ashley Madison and Match.com, persuading them to sexually abuse children so he could watch and sometimes film the abuse. The government said the victims ranged in age from a few months to 8 years old.
Randazzo was arrested after his then-girlfriend found his emails contained homemade child pornography and contacted police internal affairs investigators in February 2013, prosecutors said.
Randazzo, initially charged in Queens Criminal Court, faced federal charges after he was discovered by Department of Homeland Security agents to be downloading child pornography while on bail in connection with the Queens case, authorities said.
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde said in a release that Randazzo "lived a double life, publicly serving as an NYPD police officer while privately engaging in conduct to exploit the most vulnerable members of the community — our children."
Angel Melendez, head of the New York office of Homeland Security Investigations, said Randazzo persuaded certain women to sexually abuse their children and send him pictures and videos of the acts.
"His behavior is no less than deplorable," Melendez said.
Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill said "Randazzo's exploitation of innocent children is unconscionable."