December 8, 2021

Cortland woman admits sexually abusing 3-year-old

A Cortland woman pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to sexually abusing a child and creating child pornography.

Brittany Berry, 25, formerly of of 44 Rickard St., Apt. 4, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to sexually exploiting a child and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, announced U.S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and James N. Hendricks, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Albany field office.

Berry admitted that she conspired with her husband, Lawrence Berry, who still faces charges to sexually exploit a 3-year-old child in August and September of 2018 and that she engaged in sexual exploitation of that child on five occasions. Berry also admitted she transmitted images and video of the abuse to Lawrence Berry.

She will be sentenced Feb. 6 in Utica before U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd. Berry faces a minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison on each of the six counts.

She also will be required to spend at least five years and up to a lifetime term on post-imprisonment supervised release.

Police said in September 2018 that she had sexual contact with the boy several times since August while at a residence on Rickard Street, and recorded them.

Statements Berry and witnesses made to police said she created the video recordings at the request of her husband, Lawrence Berry. They state he had asked her to perform sex acts on the child, as well as other sex acts.

She also told police her husband threatened to leave her if she did not do what he asked and said that it was one of her husband’s other personalities asking her to perform the sexual acts.

“Larry also threatened to leave me several times if I did not do these things … ” Berry told police. “Larry also told me not to tell anyone about this.”

This case was investigated by the FBI and Cortland police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Gadarian.