Last week, a 43-year-old Pennsylvania man who was facing criminal charges for allegedly possessing child pornography avoided jail time and was sentenced house arrest.
Last July, authorities arrested him following what is being described as an undercover investigation. Pennsylvania state and local authorities monitored traffic on Internet sites that they believed to be frequented by people possessing child pornography. When monitoring traffic on the sites, authorities allegedly connected activity on the sites to the defendant's computer.
After searching his computer, police officers allegedly found more than 30 illegal video files. After he was arrested, officers claim that he admitted to viewing child pornography for four years and that he copied additional files to a video disk.
When accused of a crime involving child pornography, a suspect can face state and federal charges, which carry the possibility of long prison sentences and a lifetime spent on the sex offender registry.
In this particular case, the defendant presented evidence that he was truly sorry for what he did and that he had been seeing a therapist since the time of his arrest. In court, a psychologist testified as an expert witness and stated that the defendant was at a very low risk to possess child pornography again.
After pleading guilty to state charges of possessing child pornography and criminal use of a communications device, Judge Albert Cepparulo sentenced the defendant to house arrest for six to 23 months. In addition, the Judge ordered the defendant to not use the Internet at home and to have no unsupervised contact with children. In addition, he will be registered as a sex offender under Megan's Law for 10 years. However, he did not meet the criteria for being labeled as a sexually violent predator.
Source: PhillyBurbs.com, "Warminster man gets house arrest for child porn," Laurie Mason Schroeder, Aug. 24, 2011