Trial for Hastings delayed

ALBANY – The trial of a Mayfield man accused of producing and possessing child pornography has been delayed until April to allow for additional evidence discovery.

A jury trial for Robert Hastings, 24, of 171 Yates Road, Mayfield, was scheduled to begin Monday in the United States District Court Northern District of New York before Judge Gary L. Sharpe.

According to court documents, Hastings attorney Paul Evangelista asked for a 90-day continuance to review computer forensic material, victim-related materials and other materials related to state court proceedings.

In addition, Evangelista needs time to review the results of “recently completed mental health evaluation” and legal issues “relating to autism spectrum disorder” and to draft pretrail motions, the documents state.

The trial of Robert Hastings is scheduled to being April 25 at 9:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Albany.

Hastings and his brother, Richard Hastings, 20, were charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with production of child pornography and possession of child pornography in 2013.

Richard Hastings pleaded guilty in February 2015 to both counts in federal court. He was sentenced to 15-years in federal prison in July 2015 and is currently incarcerated at Allenwood Low Security Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania.

According to federal authorities, in July 2013, the Hastings brothers produced sexually explicit photographs of a minor and emailed the photos to an undercover law-enforcement officer in Queensland, Australia in an effort to trade them for additional images of child pornography.

On Aug. 8, 2013, officers searched the Hastings’ Mayfield residence and seized a computer, which contained images of the minor and additional images of child pornography, authorities said.

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