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Federal judge gives 30-year prison sentence for child porn
[October 04, 2010]

Federal judge gives 30-year prison sentence for child porn

Oct 04, 2010 (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A federal judge today sentenced a Lawrence County man to 30 years in prison for transporting and receiving child pornography.

Kelly Hardy, 40, of New Castle pleaded guilty Oct. 22. Police found 17 computers, 60 hard drives and thousands of images and videos of child pornography when they searched his home on April 16, 2009.

They also found 33 pairs of girls' underwear, some stolen from neighbors' houses.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer said the sentence was the longest one she's handed out, and part of the reason for the harsh sentence is that Hardy's fantasies, as described in online chats, were becoming increasingly violent and he had started acting out on his fantasies.

"Your behavior over time had escalated," the judge said.

Federal public defender Penn Hackney asked the judge to give Hardy a 10-year sentence so that he could receive treatment for a range of mental illnesses. Hackney argued that previous testimony by psychologist Jolie Brams showed that there was a good likelihood Hardy would respond to treatment.

Hardy said he regretted the grief and expense his actions have caused.

"I'm glad that I'm here because I'm starting to get help now," he said.

Federal sentencing guidelines recommended 30 years to life for Hardy based on his offenses and several aggravating factors such as photographing neighborhood children and keeping a database of information on young girls.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Haller said it was difficult to ask that anyone be sent to prison for 30 years, but Hardy's offenses warranted a sentence at the upper end of the range.

"Mr. Hardy's conduct is right at the top for child pornography traffickers," he said.

Fischer also sentenced Hardy to probation for life and ordered him to pay $1,000 restitution to "Amy," a woman who has filed dozens of lawsuits across the country seeking restitution from the people viewing videos of her being abused as a child.

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