May 25, 2017
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NOW: 53°
HI 63 / LO 49

Man gets minimum sentence for child porn

5-year sentence imposed; prosecution sought 16 years


1
BY DENEEN SMITH
dsmith@kenoshanews.com


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A former firefighter will serve five years behind bars for possession of child pornography.

Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder sentenced Donald Jervis to five years of prison for each of the four counts against him, but ordered the sentences served concurrently. The prison time will be followed by extended supervision.

Five years is the presumptive minimum sentence for the charges. Prosecutors had argued Jervis should serve 16 years in prison.

Jervis, 53, a retired New Jersey firefighter now living in Kenosha, was initially charged with 17 counts of possession of child pornography and four counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child. All but two counts of child porn and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said Jervis had 280 images of child pornography, some on his computer and some on his phone, and 32 videos of child pornography.

According to the criminal complaint, some of the images and videos showed children as young as 2 to 4 years old being sexually assaulted by adults.

The porn was discovered after Jervis attempted to send child pornography in a video to his girlfriend in New Jersey. The emails were flagged by an Internet provider, who alerted law enforcement.

According to statements in court, Jervis had maintained a relationship with the girlfriend for 10 years despite being “happily” married.

In his defense

Jervis’ attorney John Ward portrayed Jervis as a hero who had lived an exemplary life, saying he had been given awards twice for heroism, including in working at the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11.

“All his life he has looked out for other people,” Ward said.

Jervis told Schroeder that downloading child porn had been a mistake and said he is not sexually attracted to children.

He said he had dedicated four decades to public service. “I would never intentionally hurt someone in my entire life,” he said. “I’m always out to help people.”

Jervis also told the judge his wife is standing by him and that his children “still see me as their hero.”

Binger pointed out that the videos “cause the continuing victimization of children by creating a demand for child pornography.”

Schroeder called Jervis’ actions “disgusting and shameful” but said he did not believe they warranted the 16-year sentence Binger sought.


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