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Maryland woman sentenced to 5 years for child pornography

A Maryland woman has been sentenced to a five-year prison term after she was accused of distributing illegal images of children. The woman, age 46, was accused of distributing the child pornography to her then-husband, who requested that she take the images. The couple has since divorced.

Although the woman's sentence may seem hefty, consider her husband's prison term: He was sentenced to more than two decades in custody on charges of producing child pornography. The woman in this case decided to pursue a plea agreement, perhaps providing additional information to implicate her husband in the crimes. This may have paid off in the form of a shorter prison sentence. Cooperation with prosecutors through a plea deal can have its advantages, as seen in this case.

Authorities report that the woman took about 50 photographs of two minor girls on multiple occasions in late 2008. The woman reportedly took those photographs with her mobile phone and then transmitted the images to her 43-year-old husband. Those pornographic images were among a larger stash found on the husband's electronic devices in late 2012. A search warrant executed at the couple's house found more than 2,200 pictures and 100 videos of underage children participating in sexual activities. The husband was eventually apprehended after a social media "sting" performed by undercover agents.

Both the man and the woman will be seriously penalized for their role in the child pornography crimes. It is not clear whether the man agreed to a plea bargain. However, the woman may have used this legal strategy to position herself in a more favorable situation. A guilty plea is not an appropriate tool for every single criminal case, but it is an effective legal strategy for some accused of possession of child pornography.

Source: WBAL TV 11, "Bel Air woman sentenced to 5 years in child porn case" Saliqa Khan, Jun. 11, 2014

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