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Youth Athletic Trainer Charged with Child Pornography Over Snapchat Messages

Aug 21, 2019

New York, NY(Law Firm Newswire) August 21, 2019 – An athletic trainer at a teen soccer club in Rochester, New York, is facing multiple child pornography charges after allegedly exchanging sexually explicit images and videos with two underage soccer players using her Snapchat account.

Shelby Garigen, 41, was charged with access with intent to view child pornography and receipt of child pornography. She worked for Empire United Soccer Academy and had a 12-year association with its soccer program as an athletic trainer. Authorities learned about Garigen’s alleged actions when a parent told the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office that the trainer had exchanged inappropriate Snapchat messages with his 17-year-old son from November 2018 to February 2019.

According to federal prosecutors, Garigen’s online conversations with the teen “turned sexual” after one or two weeks when she went from complimenting his Snapchat story to commenting on his “physical features.” The trainer allegedly initiated the sexual relationship by sending the teen a nude image of herself and asking him to send one in return.

“Child pornography allegations have the potential to destroy a person’s life and reputation,” commented Peter Brill, a New York criminal defense attorney with Brill Legal Group, who is not involved with the case. “With so much at stake, it is important to have quality legal representation in such cases. A skilled defense attorney will know how to construct an aggressive defense strategy for the accused individual.”

An undercover agent pretended to be the 17-year-old boy on Snapchat and received sexually explicit photos, videos and messages from Garigen. The investigator then arranged to meet the trainer in person to have sex at her house. Garigen’s cellphone was seized and searched at the meeting after a federal search warrant was delivered.

Using the information obtained from the device, investigators found that Garigen had been engaging in similar sexually explicit online conversations with a second 17-year-old member of the same soccer club. The FBI claimed Garigen admitted to having online relationships with the teens and acknowledged sending them nude photos of herself seven or eight times, including a “full body nude picture.” She allegedly asked the first boy for nude images of himself eight or nine times.

Garigen could face a $250,000 fine and between five to 30 years in prison if convicted.

She was released with several conditions after appearing in federal court. The judge forbid her from contacting minors and working for youth-related sports programs. Garigen will also be subjected to GPS electronic monitoring and have restricted use of digital devices.

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