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September 9, 2009

Another noteworthy below-guideline federal child porn sentence

This local article, headlined "Asperger's lightens prison sentence for man in child porn case," reports on another notable federal child porn sentence. Here are the basics:

A Bettendorf man with Asperger's Syndrome who graduated from college with three majors and volunteered at his church now faces more than seven years behind bars on a federal child pornography conviction.

Jeremy Gatton, 35, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Davenport, by Judge John Jarvey. In a rare move, the defense and prosecution both asked Jarvey to consider a sentence less than what was recommended by the federal sentencing guidelines: 17 1/2 to 20 years. Jarvey agreed.

The material found on Gatton's computer, Jarvey said, was "terrible" and the "behavior for which he got caught is particularly disturbing." However, Jarvey noted that Gatton's disorder, often associated with an intense focus on a subject, "might very well explain the number of images" involved in the case, which significantly raised the potential range of punishment. It also is "very rare" to see a defendant in federal court with a loving family and strong support system, Jarvey said. Gatton has no criminal record.

After serving his 90-month sentence, Gatton will be on supervision for 10 years. Gatton came to authorities' attention after he posted a question at a Web site called misterpoll.com. Posting as "dadof3unrulygirls," he asked how he should sexually discipline his 8-, 10- and 12-year-old girls, officials said.

Gatton has no children, but a computer found in his bedroom contained several images of child pornography, a number of which were of victims identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

He told officials that he searched for the images, some of children as young as 4 years old, authorities said. He used the peer-to-peer file sharing software Morphius. "I like to find things and I stumbled on it quite by accident," Gatton said after the judge asked him how it started. He also expressed deep regret and a desire to act with integrity and virtue in the future.

Some related federal child porn prosecution and sentencing posts:

September 9, 2009 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Oh. Please. Is OCD next? It's amazing how this works. Fit the stereotype of a sex offender, life in the pokey. Be middle class with a loving family, catch a break. It's just sickening. All those involved in this case should ashamed.

Note to all parents: spend the $2100 on braces. It might just cut your child's prison sentence in half.

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 9, 2009 12:03:17 PM

Posting as "dadof3unrulygirls," he asked how he should sexually discipline his 8-, 10- and 12-year-old girls, officials said.

Gatton has no children....

So was there probable cause for the warrant to search his computer? Perhaps the real story here is the government made an offer he couldn't refuse to avoid the risk of getting the computer evidence suppressed. If it was briefed and ruled on, that would make for some fascinating reading.

Posted by: George | Sep 9, 2009 2:11:49 PM

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