Trial for NY Reporter Charged with Child Sex Crimes Begins


Starting Today, Lawyers are scheduled to make opening statements in the trial of former WNYW Fox 5 investigative reporter Charles Leaf.

Leaf is accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl and possessing child pornography on his computer.

Prosecutors allege that Leaf molested the girl at his home on several occasions between December 2009 and October 2010. They said the girl later disclosed the incidents to her babysitter, who then contacted authorities.

The girl, now 8, is expected to testify during the trial in state Superior Court in Hackensack.

Leaf was arrested in 2010 and charged with aggravated sexual assault and child endangerment. Prosecutors said they seized his computer at the time and later discovered it contained child pornographic images.

Leaf, 43, was held at the Bergen County Jail for several weeks after his arrest until he was released on bail. The most serious charge, aggravated sexual assault, is a first-degree offense that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, lifelong parole and registration requirements under Megan’s Law.

Leaf is a former Marine who served overseas on an elite diplomatic program. He worked at TV stations in Denver, Detroit and Kansas before joining Fox 5 in 2006, where he reported on high-profile stories including the Bernard Madoff scandal and the proposed development of an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site.