Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that a 31-year-old Queens resident has been sentenced to prison for promoting child sexual abuse and possessing almost 6,000 images of children being molested. The defendant also pleaded guilty to charges that he had sex with a canine, an act which was recorded and found with his cache of vile images on his electronic devices. The defendant downloaded thousands of photos and videos of children – some as young as 6 months old being abused by adults, both men and women.

District Attorney Katz said, “This defendant has now been held accountable for possessing such a horrific collection of images of children – including babies – being defiled in the most horrific and sickening ways. I would like to make it clear to all that merely possessing images and/or videos involving children being sexually abused are crimes and will be vigorously prosecuted.”

The District Attorney’s Office identified the defendant as Vishal Lalbeharry, 31, of 95th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. Defendant Lalbeharry pleaded guilty last month to a more than 17,000 counts indictment, which is believed to be the largest indictment for the possession of child sexual exploitation materials in Queens County history. Specifically, he pleaded guilty to almost 6,000 counts each of promoting a sexual performance by a child as a sexually-motivated felony, promoting a sexual performance by a child, possessing a sexual performance by a child and 15 counts of sexual misconduct before Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephanie Zaro who yesterday imposed the determinate sentence of 2 years in prison to be followed by 3 years post release supervision. The defendant must also register under the Sex Offender Register Act.

Additionally, said DA Katz, these files contained thousands of victims, and at sentencing, dozens of statements written by the victims were read into the record which took over 2 hours to complete. Each letter explained the damage these pictures and videos have inflicted on their lives, and their hope that anyone downloading and trading these images would be held accountable.

According to the charges, said DA Katz, a detective conducting an online investigation in March of 2018, used an internet investigative tool to detect IP addresses that were sharing child sexual abuse images. This software identified the defendant’s computer address as having downloaded 1,150 files containing images of children being sexually abused.

According to court records, police seized four computer laptops, four cell phones and five hard drives from the defendant’s bedroom. A forensic analysis of the items seized showed thousands of images of children – from infants to 10 year olds. The forensic examination also found 16 video recordings showing the defendant having sexual intercourse with a dog.

Assistant District Attorneys Jason S. Trager, of the District Attorney’s Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Kateri A. Gasper, Chief of the Computer Crime Unit, Gerard A. Brave, Bureau Chief of the Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau, Catherine C. Kane and Mary M. Lowenburg, Deputy Bureau Chiefs.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.