Patrick Carey posted altered images of more than a dozen women on a pornographic website; DA Donnelly unveils proposed legislation creating new statutes to protect New Yorkers from ‘deepfake’ pornography
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Seaford man was sentenced today to six months’ incarceration and 10 years’ probation with significant sex offender conditions for sharing sexually explicit “deepfaked” images of more than a dozen underage women on a pornographic website and posting personal identifying information of many of the women, encouraging website users to harass and threaten them with sexual violence.
Patrick Carey, 22, pleaded guilty on December 12, 2022, before Judge Robert Bogle to Promotion of a Sexual Performance by a Child (a D felony); Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime (an E felony); Stalking in the Second Degree (an E felony); and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (an A misdemeanor). Carey was sentenced today to six months’ incarceration and 10 years of probation with sex offender conditions. The defendant waived his right to appeal both his plea and the sentence. Judge Bogle also ordered stay away orders of protection for each of the 14 victims that will last the statutory maximum of eight years from the time of sentence. Carey must also register as a sex offender.
“Patrick Carey targeted these women, altering images he took from their social media accounts and the accounts of their family members and manipulating them using ‘deepfake’ technology to create pornography that he disseminated across the Internet,” said DA Donnelly. “These incredibly brave women pieced together his depraved conduct and brought it to the authorities. They were not afraid, and they were undeterred. Now, Carey will serve jail time and undergo rigorous monitoring for the next 10 years once he is released.”
DA Donnelly said, according to the charges, from January 2021 through September 2021, Nassau County Police Department detectives from the Eighth Squad were contacted by approximately 11 women who had discovered images of themselves on a pornographic website. Many of the women indicated that the images, taken when the women were in high school and middle school, were re-posted on the website from their own social media platforms and altered to suggest the women were engaging in sexual conduct.
The images had been altered in what is otherwise known as a “deepfake” – convincingly superimposing the victim’s faces on other separate images of women engaging in sexual conduct. The posted images were also accompanied by personal identifying information, including full names, addresses and telephone numbers.
Separately, in November 2020, another woman reported to NCPD’s Special Victims Squad that she found a sexually explicit image of herself, taken when she was underage, on the same pornographic website.
Each of the women had attended MacArthur High School in Levittown and believed that the defendant was the individual who was altering and posting their images and contact information. Some reported to police that they had received notifications from social media that Carey had “screenshotted” some of the images that appeared altered on the website from their social media accounts.
The investigation determined that most of the posts containing images of the victims came from three distinct usernames controlled by Carey. Through these accounts, Carey actively posted the images of the victims from approximately August 2019 until approximately September 2021, mere hours before his arrest, including posting the “deepfaked” images of teenagers engaging in sexual conduct with their personal information. Carey also encouraged other users to harass the victims, including sending them lurid images and videos and sexual threats.
After executing nearly two dozen search warrants on Carey’s cell phone, tablets, and other social media and web accounts, the investigation revealed Carey was in possession of several images of the victims and had shared them to social media and on the pornographic website.
Carey was arrested on September 5, 2021, by detectives of the NCPD’s Eighth Squad.
New York State currently has no criminal statutes addressing “deepfaked” or digitally manipulated images of a sexually explicit nature, leaving a significant loophole that can be exploited by child pornographers.
In response, DA Donnelly has proposed the “Digital Manipulation Protection Act,” legislation that would establish the crimes of Unlawful Publication of a Sexually Explicit Depiction of an Individual (a proposed class A misdemeanor), Unlawful Dissemination of a Sexually Explicit Depiction of an Individual (a proposed class B misdemeanor), Unlawful Distribution of a Sexually Explicit Depiction of a Child in the First Degree (a proposed class D felony), Unlawful Distribution of a Sexually Explicit Depiction of a Child in the Second Degree (a proposed class E felony), and Unlawful Access of a Sexually Explicit Depiction of a Child (a proposed class A misdemeanor).
“New York State currently lacks the adequate criminal statutes to protect victims of ‘deepfake’ pornography, both adults and children,” DA Donnelly continued. “That is why I am proposing the legislature take up the ‘Digital Manipulation Protection Act,’ that would close the loopholes in the law that allow sexual predators and child pornographers to create sexually explicit digitally manipulated images and evade prosecution. We cannot protect New Yorkers without making these changes.”
NCDA would like to thank the Nassau County Police Department’s Special Victims Squad and Eighth Squad for their assistance and cooperation in this investigation and prosecution.
Pharmaceutical Diversion and Cybercrimes Unit Chief Melissa Scannell and Senior Assistant District Attorney Kelsey Lorer of the Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau are prosecuting the case. The defendant is represented by Sarah Thomas, Esq.