ALBANY, N.Y. – Jesse Sawyer Jr. appeared in federal court on Friday in Albany.
Sawyer, 25, has been in police custody in Florida since the end of March. The Troy man is accused of using his cell phone to take so-called photos of himself sexually abusing several children. At least one victim was under the age of five.
Sawyer waived his right to a pretrial and bail hearings Friday, and he faces 15 to 30 years in prison. His father was in court today, sobbing at the appearance.
Sawyer will remain behind bars at Rensselaer County Jail until his next court appearance.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Sawyer earlier this year. In Florida, the Pinellas Park Police Department says Sawyer was arrested after he was noticed signing himself into the Calvary Chapel in Pinellas Park, using his real name.
Despite meeting the man, police released Sawyer after a miscommunication between the FBI, Troy Police, and Pinellas Park Police. Pinellas Park PD says they requested electronic confirmation of the warrant but did not receive the confirmation from the Troy Police Department or FBI for roughly an hour, so they released Sawyer because they "knew where he was."
Just six minutes after releasing Sawyer, Pinellas Police Department received a call from FBI confirming the warrant. But Troy Police and Albany FBI officials say the information was faxed to Pinellas Park within an extremely reasonable period of time.
Troy Police say it's their understanding that they had 90 minutes to get the arrest warrant to police in Pinellas Park. Pinellas Park police say they waited an hour, but they had to release Sawyer because he was never in custody and had never been charged.
Pinellas police eventually made contact with Sawyer and he indicated he was willing to surrender. It was then that officers met him in the mall parking lot.
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