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Reduced Sentencing for Vet Charged with Possession of Child Porn

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An Army veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder recently received a much lower sentence for sex crimes because of his condition.

The judge, who handed down the sentence, admitted that he was giving U.S. Army Veteran, Joseph Keller a huge break, by agreeing to a sentence of five years in prison. Keller had been charged with possessing child pornography and a home-made explosive device.

In April, Keller was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, after investigators found child pornography images on his computer. A search of his home also yielded an explosive device. Keller entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors under which he would agree to plead guilty to all the charges in exchange for a five-year sentence. This happens to be the mandatory minimum sentence for child porn charges.

The judge was not obligated to accept the plea deal. However, he has agreed to accept the deal, because he believes that the kind of charges that Keller faced were different from the charges typically facing people charged with child porn. In Keller's case, the accumulation of child pornography was not massive, in contrast to many defendants who face these charges after amassing large collections of sexually explicit images of children. Also, in Keller's case, the images were downloaded on his computer when he lived with his father for a brief period of time. The images were not found on his computer, after he moved to live with an aunt in Florida.

Keller joined the Army after high school, and says that he began to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after he completed two years of combat duty in Iraq. He also suffers from a serious alcohol problem, and this is believed to have clouded his judgment.

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