Chase Tristian Espy: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey's ex-staff attorney pleads guilty to possessing child porn
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA: An attorney who served as a staff of Governor Kay Ivey's office admitted to using child pornography and will face up to 20 years in prison, federal authorities said on Tuesday, October 11, as reported by Fox 5.
According to a joint announcement by Northern District of Alabama US Attorney Prim Escalona and FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Felix Rivera-Esparra, Chase Tristian Espy, 36, entered a guilty plea for possessing child pornography.
Espy, of Vestavia Hills, previously worked as deputy general counsel in the office of Ivey. He was only employed there a few months and was fired at the time of his arrest last August, officials said at the time.
Ivey's office released a statement to AL.com confirming Espy had been fired in 2021. The statement read, “The allegations against Mr. Espy are serious, tragic and shocking. While he was employed by our office for only a few months, Mr. Espy has been terminated. As this is an ongoing investigation, no further information is available at this time.”
Investigators seized Espy’s cellphone after he engaged in online chats with an investigator he believed to be a 15-year-old girl, authorities said in a statement. A search found multiple videos and several images portraying child sexual abuse, the statement added.
“The hard work of the agents involved in this case reflect how local, state, and federal law enforcement are committed to protecting children from predators,” Escalona said. “Possessing child pornography is not a ‘victimless’ crime. Each time images of the innocent are shared or viewed, the child is re-victimized.”
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Birmingham's Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force, the Homewood Police Department, and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys R Leann White and Jonathan Cross, reported AL.com.
“The FBI is committed to protecting our children from sexual abuse and exploitation, and we will continue to work with our partners to bring to justice those who would prey on our most vulnerable,” Rivera said.
Possessing child pornography carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. The court set the sentencing hearing on January 24.