Local man’s trial delayed

ALBANY – The federal trial for a Mayfield man accused of producing and possessing child pornography has been delayed until June.

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

However, Hastings’ trial is now set to begin at 9:30 a.m. June 27.

According to a court filing, the delay was sought to allow the prosecution and defense to exchange and review evidence related to the case.

The extension was also sought for the review of results of recently completed mental health evaluations and the assessment of legal issues “relating to autism spectrum disorder” along with drafting for pre-trial motions, the filing said.

“In addition, the defendant has requested a resolution other than the mandatory minimum sentence prescribed by law, and the requested extension will allow the parties to determine whether a negotiated resolution is possible,” the filing says.

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 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 brothers’ Mayfield residence and seized a computer, which contained images of the minor and additional images of child pornography, authorities said.

Robert Hastings was initially scheduled to head to trial in August 2015.

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