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Elmont resident pleads not guilty to porn charges

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***Updated on Aug. 19***

Sitting in a wheelchair in Eastern District federal court last Friday, Daniel Mullan, 80, pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges, and will be detained as the case proceeds.

“He maintains his innocence,” Nancy Bartling, his court-appointed attorney, told reporters, adding that she would further examine the evidence as a trial moves forward.

Mullan, an Elmont resident and a former horse trainer, faces up to 20 years in federal prison for allegedly sexually exploiting a minor, and producing and transporting child pornography over the past 30 years. According to the indictment, which was filed in the Eastern District in September 2017, Mullan enticed an unnamed teenager to “engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing one or more visual depictions of such conduct,” and knew that the pornography would be transported throughout the United States and internationally between January 1999 and December 2006.

The pornography, on cameras, hard drives, disk drives, flash drives, DVDs and videotapes, was seized by law enforcement officials from Mullan’s Elmont home in June 2017 and from a storage unit in Melville that August.

Government officials also reported that he transported the minor across the United States and internationally, and said that Mullan appeared in many of the images and videos dating back to the early 1980s.

Additionally, in a letter submitted to U.S. District Court Judget Kathleen Tomlinson before the arraignment, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue wrote that Mullan was a danger to society and requested the order of detention. He noted that law enforcement seized a safe deposit box, where Mullan — who is best known as the assistant trainer of Triple Crown-winner Secretariat in 1973 — stored more than $300,000 in “hush money” for the victim. Donoghue also said that Mullan told Irish government officials that he believed the victim was looking for money, and he could “settle this matter and persuade the alleged injured party of the errors of their ways.”

The victim, Donoghue reported, confirmed the sexual abuse to federal law enforcement officials.

“The protection of children is a priority for this office and Department of Justice,” Donoghue said in a news release. “Those who exploit and victimize children will be identified and brought to justice.”

He also thanked the FBI’s Long Island Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which comprises FBI and local law enforcement agencies, for its work. Charge Sweeney, the FBI’s assistant director-in-charge, asked anyone who may have been a victim to call (800) CALL-FBI, saying, “We believe there are other children who were victimized, and we would like to hear from them.”

In court last Friday, Tomlinson agreed with Donoghue that Mullan was a flight risk, citing his recent purchase of two tickets to Dubai, his multiple citizenships and passports, and a statement that he was living in the royal palace in Saudi Arabia, where he formerly worked as an assistant to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who died in 2015. According to Bartling, he was paid for his work with housing and flights to various places.

“These charges obviously are quite serious,” Tomlinson said. “The weight of the evidence as the government described here is substantial, to say the least.”

She added that she thought it was “disturbing” that Mullan allegedly had a storage facility filled with pornographic materials.

Mullan was previously extradited to Ireland in 2014 to answer questions about sexual assault and the production of child pornography in the country between 2000 and 2005. In 2016, he pleaded guilty in Irish court to 10 offenses, including four counts of sexual assault, two of attempted buggery, two of production of child pornography and two of possession of child pornography.

He was extradited back to the United States on Aug. 15 for the arraignment, and is scheduled to be back in court on Sept. 6.