SOUTHOLD, NY – In a shocking case that has sent shockwaves through Suffolk County, James Gaffga, a 36-year-old resident of Southold, has pleaded guilty to 50 counts of Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child. According to authorities, Gaffga was found in possession of a hard drive containing disturbing images and videos of children, some as young as 18 months old, being sexually abused.
Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney expressed his disdain for individuals like Gaffga, stating, “People like this defendant who support the sexual exploitation of minors through possession of child pornography have no place in Suffolk County.” He emphasized his office’s commitment to working closely with local and federal law enforcement officials to ensure that offenders who engage in the downloading and viewing of child pornography are held accountable for their heinous crimes.
The investigation revealed that on December 16, 2022, Gaffga had at least 50 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse and lewd exhibition of children ranging in age from approximately 18 months to 10 years old. During his guilty plea, Gaffga admitted to viewing these disturbing materials and being fully aware of their explicit nature.
On January 31, 2024, Gaffga appeared before County Court Judge Karen M. Wilutis and pleaded guilty to the entire indictment, which included 50 counts of Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, classified as Class E felonies.
Following a thorough pre-plea investigation by probation, Gaffga received a split sentence on January 31, 2024. He will serve 60 days in jail and will be placed on probation for 10 years. Additionally, Gaffga will be required to register as a sex offender. He was represented by Steven Politi, Esq.
Assistant District Attorney Michelle Haddad of the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Bureau led the prosecution in this case. Special Investigator Rory Forrestal of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Southold Town Police Department, and the Suffolk County Police Department, provided valuable investigative assistance.
This disturbing case serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting our children and holding individuals accountable for their actions. The collaboration between law enforcement agencies highlights the dedication and determination to bring justice to those who commit such reprehensible crimes.