Lack of remorse leads to stiff sentence for local child porn defendant

(Photo by Julie Hays/file)
By  | 

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) A Waco federal judge Tuesday explained why he exceeded sentencing guidelines last week when he sentenced a Temple man to serve 15 years in federal prison on a child pornography charge.

U.S. District Judge Alan D. Albright, on Nov. 14, sentenced Jon Mark Johnson to serve 180 months (15 years) in federal prison, followed by five years on supervised release, waived a fine and ordered $100 in special assessment to the court.

Department of Justice guidelines for sentencing in a case where the defendant is a first-time offender, has no prior offenses of the kind, there is no minimum and the maximum prison term called for is 10 years (120 months).

Those are guidelines, however, not statutes, and judges have considerable latitude.

On Tuesday, during a hearing docketed as a sentencing continuation, Albright said Johnson was sentenced to a term five years longer than the federal sentencing guidelines adopted by the U.S. Sentencing Commission on Nov. 1, 2016 because “The Court found that the defendant had an extraordinary lack of remorse to the victims,” according to online court records.

“The Court stated that the increase that he sentenced the defendant to was a variance and not an upward modification,” the records say.

Also, during an earlier hearing Johnson apparently ruffled Albright’s feathers, because the minute entry continues: “The defendant made statements on the record after the Court cautioned him that he should be aware of what he is saying.

“(The) defendant's counsel also spoke regarding the defendant's status,” and “The Government spoke but had nothing to add,” the entry concludes.

Johnson pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske on April 25 and has remained in custody since his arrest on Oct. 17, 2017, federal court records show.

A factual basis filed in the case says Temple police began an investigation on Sept. 29, 2017 after a victim reported she believed she had been photographed in a bathroom without her consent at a residence.

While investigators were in the process of obtaining a search warrant, Johnson returned home and began destroying computer files, hard drives and compact discs.

After the search warrant was issued police recovered files, computers, hard drives, compact discs, DVDs and video tapes, along with the destroyed media for forensic examination, the results of which were admitted in court.

During an interview Johnson admitted he had a pornography addiction and that he did possess child pornography.