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Two Men Sentenced on Child-Porn Charges

Pair Will Register as Sex Offenders, Serve Jail Time


Wednesday, October 2, 2013
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Two Santa Barbara men will have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives — among other punishments — after they admitted to possessing and distributing child pornography, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Richard Hague Jr., 23, was sentenced Tuesday to one year in County Jail, four years of felony probation, and sex-offender therapy, in addition to joining the sex-offender registry. Hague will also have to pay $1,500 toward a trust fund for one of the children — who doesn’t live in the area — identified in his photograph collection. Stephen Crawford, 54, who was sentenced in September, will also have to put $5,000 toward two trust funds, one of which is the same one that Hague will contribute to. He will also have to spend 270 days in County Jail and enter sex-offender treatment.

The two men didn’t know each other, Senior Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman said in a prepared statement. “I often hear that possessing images of child pornography is really a victimless crime, but nothing could be further from the truth,” she said. “The emotional and psychological ramifications of being photographed and video-recorded while being molested stay with these children forever.”

Anthony Davis, the deputy district attorney who prosecuted Hague, also released a statement: “By collecting restitution payments for children who were molested, video-recorded, and photographed, the District Attorney’s Office hopes to help support their healing process and discourage others from possessing these illegal photos and videos.”

The DA’s Office worked on the cases with the Los Angeles Area Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Where are the mug shots?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2013 at 9:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ok, I have a few issues here.

Let me start out by saying that anybody who abuses a child, especially under 14 and in doing so creates any sort of pornography and distributes it I have no problem with them spending the rest of their life in prison for severe child abuse.

That said, it is VERY EASY for someone to plant child pornography on somebody's computer and get them into serious trouble - it could be a political enemy, a business competitor or some sort of revenge scheme by someone.

Where quotes in the above article go wrong are when they start saying that merely possessing child pornography on your computer is some how tantamount to child abuse. That is entirely incorrect, unless you are some how financially supporting the pornographers by paying for it, copying a series of 1s and zeroes across a computer network and storing them somewhere does NOT in itself result in child abuse - the child abuse has already happened this is merely a record of it and evidence of a crime, and those who are involved in it should go to jail.

I'm not necessarily defending these guys, I have no idea what they possessed or why they possessed it or how they got to possessing it and to be honest would prefer not to know.. What I have seen, however, is scientific evidence that giving someone who has strong urges towards a certain sexual tendency access to pornography portraying that tendency, they are actually less likely to use violence or otherwise immoral means to attain what is being portrayed. In other words, people don't become more attracted to children by viewing child pornography, those who have the attraction it is already engrained and if they have access to that type of pornography it would follow they would be less likely to actually carry out their fantasies. The only reason I mention this is because someone could potentially make the argument that merely having access to child pornography will increase future child abuse, but this is not a logical or scientifically sound argument. This is the argument that was attempted in the article above, when they said that possessing child pornography is not a victimless crime. Then on top of that, if you were a part of a political movement and someone was trying to take you out, if they put child pornography on your computer, would you be victimizing children? No, of course not. So mere possession of child pornography cannot be argued to be necessarily bringing future abuse onto children.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to shun the activity and discourage it as much as possible, and we should always try to prosecute perpetrators of child abuse. But some of the language used in the article creates dangerous precedents for potentially innocent people and just doesn't make sense. Let's keep our witch hunts sensible.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2013 at 1:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2013 at 2:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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