Centennial Man Sentenced to Prison for Blackmail
A man who previously admitted to two counts of sexual exploitation of children before withdrawing those guilty pleas admitted to amended charges and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment Monday in Albany County District Court.
Nathaniel Lane Wamberg, 18, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of blackmail and a misdemeanor charge of promoting obscenity. Judge Jeffrey Donnell sentenced Wamberg to one year in the Albany County Detention Center with credit for time served, followed by five to 10 years in prison. Donnell included a recommendation for Wamberg to participate in the bootcamp program while imprisoned.
Wamberg was initially charged sept 4 with five counts of sexual exploitation of children after an investigation by Albany County Sheriff's deputies turned up over 100 images and videos of underage or prepubescent girls engaged in explicit sexual conduct on a memory card seized in an Aug. 5 search of Wamberg's apartment.
Wamberg pleaded guilty Jan. 12 to two counts of sexual exploitation of children, but was allowed to withdraw his guilty pleas April 13 after defense attorney Tom Fleener argued Wamberg was improperly represented by his previous attorney.
Instead of going to trial, scheduled for May 19-20, Wamberg worked out a plea deal with prosecutors. The state agreed to amend the five counts of sexual exploitation of children to one felony count of blackmail and one misdemeanor count of promoting obscenity if Wamberg would agree to plead guilty to both charges.
Donnell ordered Wamberg remanded to custody Monday to begin serving his sentence.
"Well, Mr. Wamberg, this is not an auspicious beginning to your adulthood," said Donnell. "You'll start with serious consequences and serious deficiencies."
Donnell also had a message for people who may consider taking explicit pictures of themselves and sharing them digitally.
"When you put stuff out on the internet, you have no control over who it goes to, you have no control over who sees it, and it will never go away," said Donnell.
Donnell added that the victims will likely still be able to find the images on the internet when they are 60 years old.
"And anyone who thinks different is just naive, because people like you collect them," Donnell said to Wamberg.