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September 19, 2009

Yet another noteworthy below-guideline federal child porn sentence

This local story from Washington state, which is headlined "2½-year sentence for man with 1,300 CDs of child porn," provides yet another example of the uncertainty and disparity surrounding federal sentencing for child porn offenses.  First the facts as reported:

A former Little League coach who was found to have over a thousand CDs full of child pornography images was sentenced to 32 months in prison Friday.  In addition, 60-year-old Benny L. Hill will be required to have 15 years of supervised release.

Agents were clued in to Hill's stash while investigating a Fairfield, Conn. man on child pornography charges. Investigators found Hill's email address, "Stoned_coach," and learned the Fairfield man had been trading child pornography with Hill over the Internet.  When agents searched Hill's Kelso home on March 12, 2008, they discovered 1,300 CDs full of child pornography images.

In fact, the collection was so large, "agents abandoned efforts to continue counting all the images and videos," said Assistant United States Attorney David Reese Jennings.  Hill was arrested and last August, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

"I cannot overstate the revulsion in our community, nor the serious and insidious impact on our culture, or how these offenses raise levels of fear in our society," U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said in a statement released after sentencing Friday. "The joy of childhood is constrained by parents who are scared to death by the people who are inspired, motivated, and titillated by those who possess this material."

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of just over 8 years.

Now, my questions and concerns:

  1. Why were federal prosecutors only asking for an 8-year sentence here for a guy with a huge (record-setting?) collection of child porn who seems to have been an active trader, when federal prosecutors in other cases have sought decade-long sentences for seemingly much less serious child porn offenders? 
  2. How does the judge's bold statement jibe with his significant downward variance?
  3. Will the government appeal this relatively low sentence for what seems to be an especially serious child porn offender?
  4. Am I the only one who thinks it is perversely funny that the defendant here is named Benny Hill?

Some related federal child porn prosecution and sentencing posts:

September 19, 2009 at 08:41 AM | Permalink

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Comments

The problem is that in this day and age it's difficult to know what 1,300 CD means exactly. A one GB file on a HD (meaning one count) could span 10 CD or more depending on the program used and if it's compressed or not. OTOH, it could mean hundreds of thousands of pictures.

One of the major issue issues surrounding CP reporting is that there is no consistent measurement of the offense. Papers will use whatever number seems the biggest to make it sound more alarming that what it might other wise seem. 1,300 CD seems like a lot. 100 movies not so much.

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 19, 2009 2:03:32 PM

Did the prosecution show a nexus between possession and an actual harm suffered by any of the children depicted? For example, if these pictures were taken in the 1940's, would possession still promote child abuse? This subject is part of the feminist hysteria, and the hunt for the productive male.

Here is the biggest harm of these productions. If you teach a child about sex, you generate hundreds of victims pursued by that child. The immature child cannot judge when sex is appropriate and when it is not. That child sexual abuse victim becomes a busy perpetrator.

I see little difference in the harm caused by heinous child porn producers and that caused by heinous, feminist sex educators imposing their perverted sex education about highly technical sex acts on our kids from kindergarten. These left wing horrible people have pushed the age of sex experience down to almost pre-pubertal ages. That puts the feminist sex educator in the same category of harm to our kids as the child porn producer. The same sentences should be reserved for feminist sex educators as suggested for child porn makers (not viewers).

Every time a child sexually abuses another, the sex educator should be tracked down and given the prison sentence of a child porn producer.

Why is this going on, with lawyers threatening non-complying schools with ruinous litigation?

The lawyer wants to explode bastardy. Explode the rate of bastardy and you explode social ills requiring more lawyers, especially vicious criminality.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 19, 2009 8:42:50 PM

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