Sirens & Gavels

Sex offender gets 10 years for child porn

A Cheney man who already went to federal prison for distributing child pornography using his former co-worker's stolen identity is to return for a 10-year sentence for another child porn charge.

John Alan Harmon, 58, is to serve 120 months in federal prison and will be on probation for the rest of his life under a sentence imposed this morning in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

He's to forfeit $120,000 in lieu of the forfeiture of his home in Cheney. Investigators found electronic equipment with about 36,000 images of child pornography in Harmon's home during a search in January 2010. Harmon was already a registered sex offender after leaving prison in 2005 after serving three years for distributing child pornography.

Harmon has been in jail since his arrest on Jan. 10. A plea deal dismissed a sentencing enhancement that mandated a 15-year sentence because of Harmon’s prior conviction.

“The network of dedicated law enforcement officers across the country that search for and identify child pornographers (is) invaluable to making our communities safer," Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in a prepared statement.

A sentencing memorandum prepared by his attorney, Bevan Maxey, said Harmon has a sexual disorder but is otherwise a studious individual.

"Although Mr. Harmon recognizes that his disorder makes him attracted to minors, he has consistently denied ever having any sexual contact with a real child," according to the memo. "These assertions have repeatedly been confirmed by polygraph tests."

Still, "Mr. Harmon recognizes, admits to, and regrets the extremely hurtful and damaging nature of the illegal images he possessed," his lawyer wrote.




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