A WNYW Fox 5 Reporter Charles Leaf was found guilty on 8 counts of sex crimes invoking children. The main count was a sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl at his home.
Leaf was sentenced in court and the judge gave him 26 years on the charges.
Leaf maintained his innocence, speaking for more than 20 minutes during the hearing. "Child abuse of any kind is abhorrent, reprehensible, and those who prey upon children are the worst kind of criminal," he told the court. "I, however, am not one of them."
The former reporter took time, referring to a script as if he wrote his own story. He emphasized that he passed a polygraph test and psychological evaluation.
“As I have emphatically said from day one and never waivered, I am innocent,” he said. “100 percent innocent of all eight counts.”
During the trial, the now 8-year-old girl he was accused of molesting withdrew her accusations.
Leaf's father-in-law testified during the trial that he, not Leaf, had viewed pornography on Leaf's computer.