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Ohio Internet crimes conviction: Man avoids state prison

Normally, an individual convicted for child pornography involving children may not expect much consideration from an Ohio court when it comes time for sentencing. Nevertheless, every criminal case is unique, with its own set of facts and circumstances. Recently, a former Army sergeant was able to avoid a term in state prison after pleading guilty to Internet crimes.

The 30-year-old man, a resident of Medina, did receive a six month jail term, and he must also register as a Tier II sex offender for the next 25 years. Probation for five years is to follow completion of his jail term, and he also can have no contact with anyone outside his family who is under the age of 18. Further, he cannot use his computer other than for the purpose of locating or maintaining a job. The judge warned the man that probation officials would be spot checking his computer for pornography, and that any violation of the terms of his criminal sentence could result in a term of imprisonment of up to three years.

The Internet crimes allegations and his guilty plea grew out of an investigation by the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. In imposing sentence, the judge presiding over the proceedings took into consideration the man's prior military service as well as the fact that he completed an evaluation of his mental health. The psychologist that conducted the examination reportedly concluded the man was addicted to pornography, though showed no signs of pedophilia. In addressing the court before sentencing, his attorney noted that there were just a half dozen pornographic images involving children out of the literally tens of thousands the man had downloaded.

Facing allegations of Internet crimes in Ohio is a daunting task. Here, despite seemingly substantial evidence, the defense was able to successfully argue for a sentence that many may consider lenient. Indeed, the prosecutor had requested a two year term of imprisonment. The successful result underscores the value of continuing to fight for a favorable result at all stages of a criminal proceeding.

Source: The Medina-Gazette, "Medina military recruiter receives reduced sentence," Loren Genson, Jan. 25, 2013

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