February 12, 2013

Portland man gets minimum five years for child porn

Jon Fenton, 25, made a tearful apology in U.S. District Court as more than 20 of his friends and family were present to support him.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — A Portland man who collected and traded thousands of child pornography images and hundreds of explicit videos was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison.

Jonathan Fenton, 25, made a tearful apology in U.S. District Court before Judge Nancy Torreson, with more than 20 of his family members and friends in the courtroom to support him.

"I am infinitely sorry for the choices I made," Fenton said. "I am deeply sorry for the lifetime of harm that I caused."

In sending Fenton to prison for five years, Torreson applied the minimum mandatory sentence for transportation of child pornography, the charge to which Fenton pleaded guilty Sept. 14.

The judge departed from federal sentencing guidelines that call for 87 to 108 months in prison.

The FBI raided Fenton's home on July 7, 2011, seizing a computer hard drive with more than 400 videos and 15,000 images of child pornography. Fenton, who was in the home during the search, told officers that he had been involved in child pornography for a year and a half before being caught, according to court records.

"Saying 'sorry' does nothing to right the wrong I have created in so many lives," Fenton told the judge before she imposed the sentence. "I am now fully cognizant of the harm I have caused and will never be repeating this."

The lead prosecutor in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Neumann, opened her sentencing argument by reading from a written statement from one of Fenton's child pornography victims.

"Every day, people are trading and sharing videos of me as a little girl being raped in the most sadistic ways," the victim's statement said. "They don't know me, but they have seen every part of me. They are being entertained by my shame and pain."

Neumann said people often incorrectly see child pornography as a victimless crime but the woman whose statement she read is a real person, now in her 20s.

"Men like the defendant collected and traded these almost like baseball cards," Neumann said. "The children that he was watching in these videos, think about what they suffered. What the defendant did is terrible, judge, and it isn't a run-of-the-mill case."

Fenton's attorney, David Beneman, asked for the five-year sentence, citing Fenton's serious medical conditions, his remorse, treatment and counseling he has sought since he was caught, and the support of his family and friends.

"He is also a defendant who comes to the court changed from a couple years ago," Beneman said.

Fenton suffers from a heart disease that has caused him to pass out occasionally because of a lack of blood flow. Beneman argued that because of Fenton's condition, he has a shorter life expectancy and prison will be harder on him.

In addition to the prison sentence, the judge ordered Fenton to serve five years of supervised release and pay $21,650 in restitution to cover counseling costs for some of his victims.

"One of the reassuring things about hitting bottom is, you don't have further to fall. You might feel like you are hitting bottom today, and you may find that prison defines the bottom for you," Torreson said. "The good news is, from here, you can only go up."

She ordered Fenton to surrender to federal custody March 12. He will remain free on bail until then.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at KJonline.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)