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Man Gets 51 Months For Child Porn Binge First-Time Offender Has Been Doing Therapy Since His Arrest

A Spokane man convicted of using the Internet for a five-month child pornography binge was sentenced Friday to 51 months in federal prison.

George Scott Hughes, 50, pleaded guilty earlier this year to 14 counts of using his home computer to download and transmit child porn.

Federal authorities found 72 floppy disks containing images of kids engaged in sex acts when they raided his home in January.

The former hospital laboratory technician admitted to U.S. Customs agents that he collected more than 660 images depicting children under 12 in various sexual poses, including bondage scenes.

He was arrested in January after undercover authorities convinced him to trade some of his computer images for videotapes containing child porn.

Defense attorney Jeffry Finer told U.S. District Judge Robert Whaley on Friday that his client deserved a break.

Hughes fell into an “insatiable” addiction to child porn while going through a stressful period of his life that included marital and employment problems, Finer said.

After his arrest, Hughes enrolled in therapy, which he has faithfully attended, Finer said.

“He took every step they asked of him and exceeded it,” the attorney said.

Hughes’ counselor, Adie Goldberg-Yates, testified that Hughes has accepted responsibility for his crime and now realizes that pornography victimizes children.

“He’s made remarkable progress,” Goldberg-Yates said. “At this point, though, I’d say he needs continued therapy.”

As part of his treatment, Hughes wrote gut-wrenching letters to his father and two grown daughters explaining his arrest and the charges he faced, she said. He left the letters with her to ensure they’d be mailed.

Hughes, who wiped at tears during the 3-1/2-hour hearing, briefly addressed the judge. “I’m very sorry,” he said.

Federal prosecutor Earl Hicks had little sympathy.

“That does not erase those 661 images of child pornography,” Hicks told Whaley. “That does not erase the images of those children being bound.”

In addition, Hughes’ tastes for pornography were changing from still photography to videos - an escalation that Hicks said “sent chills up my spine.”

Whaley, who has a 5-year-old daughter, said Hughes committed a “despicable crime.”

But the judge granted some leniency because Hughes was a first-time offender and the porn spree seemed out of character for the Vietnam veteran.

“It seems you lived a pretty normal life for the first 50 years,” Whaley said.

, DataTimes

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