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Pa. man sentenced in child pornography case

September 03, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

A Waynesboro, Pa., man was sentenced to one year in jail Wednesday for possession of child pornography he had kept for 15 years, stashed in a Hagerstown self-storage bin.

James Vincent Hughes Jr., 50, of 7659 Mentzer Gap Road, pleaded guilty to that charge in June before Washington County District Judge Noel Spence, who on Wednesday imposed the maximum one-year sentence.

Defense attorney Steve Kessell told Spence that Hughes had kept the 134 Polaroid pictures he took of the victim all these years because he didn't know how to get rid of them.

"How did a waste can and a match escape you?" Spence asked Hughes, who remained silent throughout the proceedings. "Because of you, she's had to revisit all that agony."

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The victim, now 25, stood and spoke to Spence about the effect the events of so many years ago have had on her.

"I hate him for what he's done to me," she said tearfully. "He's never been punished for anything."

Kessell told Spence that other charges in connection with this incident were "dealt with" in Pennsylvania and Hughes paid his debt then.

But there was no jail time imposed.

Those charges included three additional child pornography charges that were dropped in June because there was no evidence to prove they had been committed in Maryland. They included soliciting, permitting and filming child pornography, according to court records.

"What was really going on here is more serious," said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Hardy. "He killed the spirit in this little girl, causing her to experience things she should never have known."

Maryland State Police executed a search and seizure warrant on the storage bin at 19764 Longmeadow Road in mid-February and recovered pornographic photos and other evidence, according to court records.

The investigation, conducted by Trooper 1st Class R.T. Bachtell, revealed one victim had been photographed by Hughes. The nude pictures depicted the girl in a variety of positions, court records said.

Hughes admitted taking the pictures about 15 years ago, court records said.

Kessell said Hughes has been a law-abiding citizen since then. He underwent counseling and continued to work, retiring recently from Mack Trucks.

After imposing sentence, Spence set a $10,000 appeal bond at Kessell's request.

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