October 27, 2021

City man charged in sex abuse of 3 children

A Cortland man whose brother is awaiting a trial on federal child sex crimes has been charged with sexually abusing three children, himself.

Jonathan Storm-Lee Berry, 25, of 64 Owego St. Apt. 5, Cortland appeared this morning in Cortland City Court, charged with three counts of first-degree sex abuse and three counts of first-degree criminal sex act, felonies. Details were unavailable, but Berry was arrested Wednesday.

Cortland police said an investigation revealed that on several occasions in 2019, Berry had sexual contact with a 4-year-old girl, 2-year-old boy and 8-year-old boy. Police said the children were abused at separate times, but all at a residence on Pendleton Street and that Berry knew the victims before the incidents.

Berry was sent to Cortland County Jail on $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. Lt. Michael Strangeway said Jonathan Berry is the brother of Lawrence Berry, who faces a federal charge of conspiring to sexually exploit a child under 5 with his wife Brittany Berry.

Lawrence Berry was originally charged in September 2018 by Cortland police of a number of felonies alleging he possessed and promoted the sexual performance of a child and used a child in a sexual performance.

Lawrence Berry’s federal case is still pending. However, his wife, Brittany Berry, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to sexually exploit a child and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

She has repeatedly implicated her husband, telling police that she sexually abused a 3-year-old child in August and September of 2018 on five occasions at a Rickard Street residence and sent video recordings of the acts to her husband. She told police Lawrence Berry had threatened to leave her if she did not do what he asked.

Brittany Berry will be sentenced Feb. 6 in Utica before 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 will also be required to spend at least five year and up to a lifetime term on post-imprisonment supervised release.