Leesville man gets 17 years in child-porn case

September 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

*published Sept. 10, 2009

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

A Leesville man was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to 17 1/2 years in prison for distribution of child pornography.

George Luis Roman III was snagged in a March 2007 operation in which FBI agents posed in chat rooms as pedophiles looking for sexually explicit images and videos, according to the affidavit.

Roman contacted an agent via instant messenger in an AOL chat room. During the chat, he talked about child pornography and sent a photo and video of girls believed to be between 5 and 7 years old having sex with a man.

In August 2007, Alexandria FBI agents found “more than 400 images of prepubescent and teenage children,” and four child pornography video files in a search of Roman’s Leesville home, according to the affidavit. Most of the children were engaged in sexual acts, the document says.

A search of Roman’s e-mail records reportedly turned up more than 4,000 pornographic images and more than 20 child pornographic video files stored in his e-mail account.

At the sentencing, Roman apologized and said he was sorry he hurt his family. His attorney, Joseph Beck, asked for leniency, saying his client had no previous criminal record and that Roman felt his bout with alcoholism contributed to his poor judgment.

His wife, mother and uncle — who is a police officer in another state — testified that Roman knew he made a mistake and that he was sorry for what he had done.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker read part of a letter from one of the victims in the photos.

The girl, now 19, is the subject of the “Vicky series,” a widely disseminated set of pornographic photos that stemmed from a case investigated by Richland, Wash., police in 2000. The photos show a man sexually abusing his daughter when she was 10 and 11.

In the letter, the victim describes the paranoia she feels each day as she worries that someone she passes may recognize her.

“They are trading my trauma, and it feels like I am being raped by each and every one of them,” the letter says.

There were other letters submitted asking the court not to show Roman leniency.

Walker said he took offense at the uncle’s statement that the crime “was a dumb thing to do.”

“This was a continued deviant act, and they are talking about this like it was a robbery,” Walker said.

Judge Patricia Minaldi said that in “almost all” of her child sex offender cases, the men had no previous criminal record.

“Some people treat this as a victimless crime because most of the time you can’t identify the victims,” Minaldi said. “That is not so in this case.”

link: http://bit.ly/2P4HBG

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