Joshua Crawford, 25, also was sentenced to five years of supervised release after he completes his prison term.
“I am truly sorry to anyone who was hurt by my actions,” Crawford told U.S. District Judge John Woodcock shortly before the sentence was imposed. “It didn’t seem real to me. Nothing I did was meant to hurt other people.”
Crawford pleaded guilty in March to possession of child pornography. He has been held without bail since then. Those seven months will be credited to his sentence.
By pleading guilty, Crawford admitted that he downloaded child pornography and viewed videos depicting children having sex with adults.
One of those videos depicted a girl under the age of 12, whose hands and feet were bound by rope, having sex with an adult male, Woodcock said.
“That video is very troubling,” the judge said. “This was not a one-time event. The defendant was involved in downloading this material for about a year.
“To the defendant’s credit, there is no evidence that he did anything other than download these videos,” Woodcock continued. “In most cases, there is evidence of swapping or trading these images of children like baseball cards.”
Crawford also never used the images to try to communicate with children, the judge said.
Between the time of his arrest in June 2011 and his guilty plea, Crawford was free on personal recognizance bail with the condition that he wear an ankle bracelet.
The investigation that led to Crawford’s arrest began in April 2010, when the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit received information that child pornography had been accessed by an account at the residence where Crawford lived with his mother and sister, according to court documents. When investigators interviewed Crawford, he admitted viewing child pornography “as a fetish.”
Investigators found more than 100 video files on Crawford’s computer that depicted the sexual abuse and exploitation of prepubescent boys and girls, according to court documents. In September 2010, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children confirmed that 19 videos included images of children identified in previous investigations, according to court documents.
Crawford faced up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, the recommended sentence was between 6½ and eight years.
Woodcock said that was “too punitive” for Crawford, who had no criminal history and immediately took responsibility for his actions.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Lowell recommended a sentence of 6½ years. Defense attorney Wayne Foote of Bangor urged the judge to sentence his client to one year in prison.