Former TV reporter Charles Leaf sentenced to 26 years in prison for child sex assault

Charles Leaf was found guilty on several other

Charles Leaf was found guilty on several other charges, including child endangerment and possession of child pornography in state Superior Court. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

HACKENSACK - A former TV reporter has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for the sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl at his home in Wyckoff.

Charles Leaf, who was arrested in 2010, was found guilty in February on several other charges, including child endangerment and possession of child pornography in state Superior Court.

Leaf maintained his innocence, speaking for more than 20 minutes during the hearing. "Child abuse of any kind is abhorrent, reprehensible, and those who prey upon children are the worst kind of criminal," he told the court. "I, however, am not one of them."

The former reporter took time, referring to a script as if he wrote his own story. He emphasized that he passed a polygraph test and psychological evaluation. 

“As I have emphatically said from day one and never waivered, I am innocent,” he said. “100 percent innocent of all eight counts.”

During the trial, the now 8-year-old girl he was accused of molesting withdrew her accusations.

Leaf's father-in-law testified during the trial that he, not Leaf, had viewed pornography on Leaf's computer.

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