HAVERHILL — A city man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail yesterday by a Salem (Mass.) Superior Court judge, after pleading guilty to charges of possessing and disseminating child pornography from his home computer.
William Graham Jr., 49, of 425 S. Main St., was originally charged back in April 2012, after police obtained a warrant for his computer during an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and state troopers assigned to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.
Prosecutor Jessica Strasnick, who had urged a longer two- to three-year state prison term for Graham, said that a state trooper working with the task force was on a file sharing program when he noted the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a computer offering child pornography.
Among the available files was a 29-second video showing a teenage girl performing a sex act with an older person.
Investigators tracked Graham down by contacting the Internet service provider that he was using. The provider gave investigators Graham’s name and address. A search warrant was executed for computers and digital media at Graham’s home.
After police searched the computer, they found more child pornography, Strasnick told the judge.
When questioned by police, Graham admitted to having and distributing child pornography and to having a file sharing program on his computer, investigators said.
Graham told police they would find child pornography on his computer along with adult porn, but that he did not like looking at child porn. He told police he could not explain how the child porn got onto his computer.
A member of the Massachusetts State Police Digital Evidence and Multimedia Section conducted a forensic preview of Graham’s computer after his arrest, in which he found three “notable” files believed to be child pornography in violation of state laws, according to court documents. The files were located on a computer desktop folder titled “My Shared Folder.”
Investigators said they found several hundred files in Graham’s shared folder that contained references to child and adult pornography.
Graham, who told Judge David Lowy that he suffers from depression and memory loss, also admitted to the judge that the materials were on his computer.
While Strasnick sought state prison time, defense lawyer Geoff DuBosque asked the judge for time served, the nearly two years Graham has spent in custody since his arrest in April 2012.
Lowy’s sentence makes Graham eligible for parole immediately, though it was not clear whether that would be granted.
After his release, Graham will spend five years on probation, with requirements that include a sex offender evaluation and treatment, registration as a sex offender, no unsupervised contact with children and no use of the Internet.
Should he violate any of those probation terms, he could face a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.