Lower Me­rion man faces prison for pos­sess­ing child porn

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Carl Hessler Jr. [email protected]­tu­ry­media. com @mont­co­court­news on Twit­ter

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

BY CARL HESSLER JR. — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

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.

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