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Judge rejects plea bargain in child porn case

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Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

A Fayette County judge on Friday rejected a proposed plea bargain for a Connellsville man charged with possession of child pornography.

In July, Justin Porterfield, 22, of 123 W. Apple St., Apt. 4, entered guilty pleas to dissemination and possession of child pornography.

In exchange for the guilty plea, District Attorney Jack Heneks agreed to drop the dissemination charge and recommended a jail sentence of three months to a year, followed by five years of probation.

“The (DA) has, for some inexplicable reason, offered a plea which falls below all guideline ranges,” Judge John F. Wagner said.

Defense attorney Donna McClelland asked to withdraw the plea, meaning both charges will go forward for trial.

State police in Delaware County discovered three images of child pornography on Porterfield's computer during an online search on March 12, 2010. District Attorney Jack Heneks said about 37 videos depicting child pornography had been deleted, but investigators were able to retrieve them.

During a hearing, Porterfield admitted having the images on his computer.

McClelland said at that time that Porterfield was using a file-sharing program that allowed others to access the images from his computer after he downloaded them.

Lt. David Peifer, supervisor of the Delaware County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, testified during an earlier hearing that he was working with a Delaware County grand jury that was investigating child pornography when he discovered the images on Porterfield's computer.

Porterfield remains free on $10,000 bond.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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