Lower Merion man faces prison for possessing child porn
NORRISTOWN >> A Lower Merion man who prosecutors alleged modified life-sized dolls to resemble underage girls for his sexual gratification was sent to prison for possessing child pornography.
Michael K. Kelly, 46, of the 100 block of Monument Avenue in the Bala Cynwyd section of the township, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 1-to-4-years in a state correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to fifty felony counts of possessing child pornography in connection with incidents that occurred in 2015.
“These are images and videos regarding our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” said Judge Steven T. O’Neill, adding most people would be repulsed by the material but the evidence showed Kelly was “a collector.”
O’Neill also ordered Kelly to serve 10 years’ probation consecutive to parole, meaning Kelly will be under court supervision for 14 years. Kelly must complete mandatory sex offender treatment programs while in prison, the judge said.
O’Neill also determined Kelly meets criteria to be classified as a sexually violent predator under current state laws, meaning Kelly will have to report his address to state police for a lifetime once he’s released from prison.
Kelly, who was arrested in April 2015 during an investigation by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit, told investigators he fantasized and masturbated to the child pornography he downloaded via a file sharing program for more than 15 years.
Kelly allegedly told investigators he preferred to view female children between the ages of 10 and 14 and was sexually aroused by that age range.
State agents alleged they uncovered at least 100 files saved on Kelly’s media storage devices which clearly depicted children under the age of 18 engaged in sex acts or poses, according to the arrest affidavit.
“These children are real children and they are in real pain,” Deputy Attorney General Michelle Laucella said in court as she argued for a state prison sentence against Kelly, adding Kelly also had life-sized dolls made to resemble children that he used for his sexual gratification. “He’s got significant urges to have sex with children. He’s acting that out on dolls.”
Kelly told investigators that he never had sexual contact with a child, according to a criminal complaint.
But the judge said Kelly’s conduct contributed to the proliferation of child pornography.
“These images would not be produced if there wasn’t a market for them,” O’Neill said.
Kelly, who was represented by defense lawyer James P. Lyons, acknowledged the children in the files he downloaded were being sexually exploited and that he knew that it was illegal to possess such material.
“I perpetuated their abuse…I won’t be dishonest about that. I am so sorry I put them through that. It took my arrest to stop me,” Kelly told the judge, adding he has sought treatment and counseling while awaiting sentencing. “My secret is out. I have no more excuses not to find help. Through therapy, I’m addressing a lot of my shortcomings. I am doing everything I can to make sure I don’t do it again.”
Lyons, pointing out the steps Kelly took to obtain counseling, argued for a county jail sentence with work release for Kelly.
“These are images and videos regarding our most vulnerable citizens, our children.”
— Judge Steven T. O’Neill
Michael K. Kelly, 46, of the Bala Cynwyd section of Lower Merion, is led from court by sheriff’s deputies after he was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 1-to-4-years in a state prison after he pleaded guilty to 50 felony counts of possessing child pornography in connection with incidents that occurred in 2015.