Millinocket man sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for child porn

Posted Oct. 13, 2010, at 2:39 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:28 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Millinocket man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 90 months — or 7½ years — in prison for unlawful possession of child pornography.

Shawn C. Clogston, 39, also was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release after he completes his prison term.

Clogston waived indictment and pleaded guilty to the charge on Oct. 8, 2009.

He has been held without bail awaiting sentencing at the Penobscot County Jail since then. That time will be credited toward his sentence.

In imposing the sentence recommended by prosecutors, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said that he found Clogston’s two convictions for domestic violence in 1998 and 2002 “to be very disturbing.” The victims in the 2002 case were Clogston’s parents.

As he has done at the sentencings of other defendants convicted of the same charges, Woodcock expressed his disdain for people who view child pornography.

“These images were not merely illegal,” the judge said, “they were immoral and repugnant. Some of the images I viewed sexualized extremely young children. It’s a mystery to me why anyone would seek out and preserve these abhorrent images.”

Cogston apologized to the court, the victims and his family shortly before he was sentenced.

“I have brought great shame and dishonor to myself and all who know me, including my family,” he said. “I can only try to make amends to each and every one of them for the rest of my natural existence.

“I beg the court’s leniency, not for myself but for my family,” Clogston concluded as his parents, sister and one of his three children sat weeping behind him.

The defendant’s laptop computer was seized from his Elm Street home on March 30, 2009, after the Computer Crimes Division of the Maine State Police learned that child pornography had been sent to a computer at his Internet address, according to court documents.

Details about how police received that information was not outlined in the court documents and were not revealed at the sentencing.

Clogston admitted in court Wednesday that he had been downloading child pornography from the Internet for about 15 years. Investigators, according to the court documents, found more than 600 digital images of child pornography, including video files and “three written stories that described [the] sexual abuse of young children.”

There was no indication the “stories” were written by Clogston, according to the court documents.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Moore told Woodcock at the sentencing that there was no indication Clogston had ever tried to contact any children in the images on his computer. The defendant also had no history of being abused or of acting on his attraction to pubescent and prepubescent girls, the prosecutor said.

Clogston’s sentence was based upon the number of images found on his computer, the age of the children depicted, the nature of the images and his criminal history.

Clogston faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, he faced between 87 and 109 months — seven years and three months and nine years and one month — in federal prison.

While the federal prosecutor recommended Clogston go to prison for 7½ years, defense attorney Marvin Glazier asked the judge to go outside the federal sentencing guidelines and send Clogston to prison for 50 months.

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