Thursday, December 2, 2010
sentenced for child porn
Repair shop finds child porn on broken laptop of Athens resident
Monitor Staff Reports
TYLERA 43-year-old Athens man was sentenced to federal prison for child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced.
James Clifford Hendrix pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography June 2, and was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison Nov. 23 by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider.
According to information presented in court Aug. 15, 2008, Hendrix mailed his laptop computer to a computer repair business in Florida.
During the repair, employees discovered images of child pornography and notified law enforcement authorities.
A federal search warrant was obtained and executed at Hendrixs home, during which an additional computer was located, which also contained child pornography images.
An analysis of the computers revealed approximately 42 videos and 49 photographs of child pornography. Some of the material depicted children less than 12 years of age engaged in sadistic or masochistic conduct.
Hendrix was indicted by a federal grand jury Nov. 4, 2009.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched May, 2006, by the Department of Justice.
Possession of child porn has been a federal crime since 1990. Since then, prosecutions have more than doubled in Texas and around the country.
In fact, child porn cases have grown in number faster than nearly any other category of federal offense. Since October, 2007, more child porn cases were filed in Texas than federal prosecutions of bank robbery, bank fraud, mail fraud or wire fraud.
In the Nov. 27 issue of the Dallas Morning News, the sad story of another Athens man, convicted on child pornography charges in 2009, was published.
Another seemingly normal small businessman is caught in shame and guilt by a morbid attraction to images of the sexual torture of innocents this man and his wife only days away from adopting a pair of little girls.
Randy Paroline, 45, told the News he had no idea he would end up in federal court, that he had never intended to hurt anyone.
In 2000, right around 1,000 Texans were prosecuted on child pornography violations. Among these were band directors, physicians, instructors, prison guards, restaurant managers, retirees, pastors and assorted small business entrepreneurs.
Like Paroline, most of those convicted have no prior records, and no history of sex offenses.
According to a federal public defenders 2009 analysis, the mean federal child porn sentence has increased by nearly six years to more than 7.5 years in prison, more than those convicted of sexual assault. Some behavior researchers call this a modern-day witch hunt.
Paroline said his foray into Internet porn began with peeks at a hated stepfathers Hustler magazines as a miserable teen. After marrying at 19, Paroline says he bought porn and dabbled in adult swinger sex. When his marriage ended, he took daily refuge in porn.
Then he met his current wife, who after finding a Hustler in his house, confronted him about it. Paroline said he promised to give up porn before they married in 1998.
By 2007, Paroline described his porn habit as a way to relieve job stress (building portable air conditioners), and to fill time when his wife was traveling and he felt lonesome.
His activity intensified as the couple took in two toddler sisters and began adoption proceedings.
Paroline said he limited his secret habit by refraining from making any purchases, sharing or saving images. But, on one of his forays a virus was downloaded to his laptop computer, and he took it in to be repaired.
Youre probably going to find what Im into, but Im getting better with it, the computer tech reported him saying.
Police discovered he had viewed 280 child-porn images over a 15-day period and had entered more than 1,000 search terms for hard-core child porn.
One child porn search turned up 1.6 million results on Google.
Paroline admits to being aroused and sometimes masturbating. He insists his attraction wasnt pleasure, but revulsion.
You feel better about yourself because youve seen some horrible thing. That probably sounds pretty bad, he told the News.
The little girls who were nearly theirs were adopted by another family.
During his months in prison, Parolines wife moved their camping trailer to Houston and commuted to see him each weekend, saying it was easier than waiting alone in their ranch house, staring at the empty rooms that were to belong to their girls.
Since his story came out, Parolines wife says about 20 of their acquaintances have approached her or her mother-in-law about their own struggles with pornography.
Since his supervised release, Paroline has resumed counseling; in prison, he got none. Hes willing to speak to church groups to caution others like himself.
If child-porn consumers do not stop on their own, they are likely targets of Project Safe Childhood, a program that marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafe childhood.gov.
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