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York child speech therapist in prison in NYC on federal charges
A York-area child speech therapist accused of performing sex acts on a 2-year-old boy and sending photos of the abuse to a disgraced New York City police sergeant is now in a federal prison in New York.
Leigh Anne Marcini, 37, was arraigned Friday in Brooklyn's federal district court on an arrest-warrant affidavit filed by the Department of Homeland Security, which states she "did knowingly and intentionally conspire to employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce one or more minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct," according to federal court records.
"Miss Marcini elected not to seek bail," said defense attorney Jay Whittle, who represents Marcini on her York County charges and who represented her for Friday's federal arraignment. She will be represented by a court-appointed attorney in future federal proceedings, according to Whittle.
If convicted in federal court, she faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, he said. She is being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, he said.
"She fully confessed," Whittle said. "So in her mind it was time to start getting some credit for (time served)."
'Fantasy world': Whittle said Marcini's federal case is based on the same conduct for which she is charged in York County. There's no clear answer as to why it occurred, Whittle said.
"She doesn't really know how this happened. She can't pinpoint a reason or any motivating factor, or even how it developed," he said. "She was just really wrapped up in feeling wanted by (NYPD Sgt. Alberto) Randazzo ... and she just fell into it."
Whittle said he has concerns about Marcini's mental capacity.
"She created a fantasy world online where she was manipulated by Alberto Randazzo, who had successfully received these types of images from four or five other women," he said. "She's very remorseful, and she keeps focused on (whether the) child is going to be OK."
The background: In York County, Marcini, of 197 Eastland Drive in Manchester Township, is charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, filming sexual acts with a child and other offenses.
According to charging documents, Marcini exchanged hundreds of text messages with Randazzo regarding her sexually abusing a toddler and photographing the abuse so he could see it.
Homeland Security agents first raided Randazzo's home in February 2013. He remains charged federally with numerous child pornography offenses.
Homeland Security investigators found 722 messages Marcini and Randazzo sent to each other via computer between April and June 2012, according to charging documents. In those messages, the two allegedly discussed in explicit terms her sexually abusing the 2-year-old boy, documents state.
At one point Marcini allegedly wrote, "Wow I can't believe I snagged a NYPD cop! Im smitten :)," county charging documents allege.
Marcini's federal arrest-warrant affidavit notes she admitted to performing oral sex on the boy and sending at least one image or video of it to Randazzo.
Whittle said Marcini and Randazzo spent a night together in June 2012 in northern Pennsylvania.
"They both agreed they were not attracted to each other and they haven't talked since," he said.
Federal case: Whittle said he was contacted last week by a Homeland Security agent who indicated Marcini could avoid being arrested by turning herself in for arraignment in Brooklyn on Friday, which is what she did.
He said he expects Marcini's local case to remain in limbo until the federal case is resolved.
"Upon a conviction in federal court, local charges are generally dismissed," Whittle said, when both cases involve the same conduct. "That's common."
Court documents indicate Marcini is a speech language pathologist who listed her occupation as "speech therapist, birth to 3 program."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.