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Unblemished past influences sentence in child porn case

A clean record can be a huge benefit to Milwaukee defendants accused of criminal activity. A defendant's past influences the opinions of prosecutors and judges A person in good standing, with no record of arrests or convictions, is likely to suffer fewer consequences in court than a defendant with a troubled history.

A 60-year-old Wisconsin man was sentenced recently on triple counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Prosecutors originally charged the Little Suamico electrician with 10 counts of underage pornography. The drastic reduction of charges was the result of a plea deal.

The prosecutor recommended the defendant, a former University of Wisconsin-Green Bay employee, receive a six-year stayed prison term and serve one year in jail as part of 10 years of probation. Instead, the judge ordered the man to prison for three years and supervision for six years.

The man was taken into custody in April, after police investigators discovered underage pornography images and videos on the defendant's home computer. Reports said the computer contained a minimum of 100 child porn images. A no contest plea was entered in late July.

The defense attorney told the court his client had attempted to remove the underage pornography from the computer. The defendant, a military veteran, apologized to the court and his family for his actions. The court received nine letters declaring the defendant was an upstanding citizen.

Those letters, the military service and the lack of a criminal past helped keep the defendant's punishment to a minimum. The prosecutor admitted in court that the defendant did not fit the typical profile of a child sex crime offender.

It is certainly easier for criminal defense attorneys to minimize serious consequences for defendants without former arrests or convictions. However, legal strategies are designed to help protect the rights of all defendants, no matter what history they have or the criminal charges they face.

Source: Green Bay Press Gazette, "Little Suamico man gets 3 years for child porn," Kent Tempus, Sep. 16, 2015

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