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Former physician sentenced to a year and a day for sex crime

A physician who has treated scores of critically ill children from across the nation -- perhaps some even from Kansas -- has received a sentence of a year and a day in federal custody after he pleaded guilty to accessing child pornography. The man must also be listed on the sex offender registry, in addition to being subject to federal supervision for a five-year term after his release from custody. Finally, his Internet use will be restricted in the future, ostensibly to prevent another sex crime from occurring.

Official reports show that the man was accused of using both his work laptop and a home desktop computer to download pornographic images and videos of children. The laptop belonged to his employer, the Ohio State University. He was accused of possessing more than 80 images of child pornography on those two devices.

News reports show that the man, a former director of the university's program for pediatric cancer radiation, has apologized profusely for his missteps. He will no longer be permitted to practice medicine, even though investigators determined that the man did not possess photographs of any children he treated. The man says that he intends to transition into a job in which he can research cures for cancer, and he plans to become an advocate against child porn.

Prosecutors in this case had sought a sentence of at least 18 months because the man's activities had begun in 2007. However, a judge in the case only required him to serve a year and a day, and he will be placed in a low-security facility for the duration of his term. Even though such offenders may be convicted of criminal acts involving child pornography, there may still be hope for a reasonable sentence. No matter the nature of their alleged crimes, criminal defendants deserve a fair and unbiased legal proceeding.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Pediatric doctor in child porn case gets prison" Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Jul. 11, 2014

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