October 7, 2008

Man Sentenced for Child Porn

By Judy Harrison

BANGOR - A former Orono emergency medical technician who left his job in 2000 after downloading pornography on a city-owned computer was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to 41/2 years in prison for possession of child pornography.

Zachary Allen Winship, 34, of Rangeley worked as an EMT at North Star Ambulance in Farmington until May, when he waived indictment and pleaded guilty to the charge. He has been held without bail since, awaiting sentencing.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock also sentenced Winship to 10 years of supervised release after he completes his prison term. Conditions prohibit access to the Internet at home or at work.

Winship faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the recommended sentence was from 46 to 57 months in federal prison.

Woodcock said Monday that one of the videos showed a girl of about 4 engaged in sexual activity with an adult male. It also showed a boy and a girl about 7 engaged in sexual activity the judge called "incest" with an adult male. The judge called the material found on Winship's computers "abhorrent" and "shocking."

"Your case is simply a mystery," Woodcock told Winship. "It seems clear that you are obsessed with pornography, especially child pornography, to the point that it has become an addiction. You persisted in this obsession despite numerous warning signs."

Those warning signs, according to the judge, included Winship's first wife divorcing him in 2002 after pornography was found on a computer at her family construction business, where Winship was working after he left his job in Orono.

"The video found on your computer," Woodcock said, "is one of the most vile and disturbing I've had the misfortune to view. It's astonishing to me that anyone would want to view it once, let alone save it so he could review it."

Winship was raised in Newburgh and graduated from Hampden Academy in 1992, Woodcock said, referring to the presentence report prepared by the U.S. Probation and Pre-Trial Services. Winship resigned from the Orono Fire Department in 2000 after pornography was found on a city-owned computer, but he was not charged with a crime.

He was identified in 2003 in a wide-ranging investigation into Internet child pornography called Operation Falcon, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Malone, who prosecuted the case, said Monday. That put his name on a travel "Watch List," she said.

As a result, Winship was referred for a secondary inspection at the airport in Philadelphia in March 2006 when he returned from a vacation in Jamaica with his second wife. Customs officials found pornographic images of teenage girls and girls between the ages of 10 and 12 on Winship's laptop computer.

Winship was questioned and released in Philadelphia, according to court documents, but on the return trip to Maine, he told his then- wife that he had similar material on their home computer. When the couple returned home, she dismantled their home computer and turned it over to her attorney, who turned it over to police. That computer contained videos and still photographs of minor girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to court documents.

Following the discovery of the pornography on the computers, Winship and his second wife divorced, Woodcock said.

Winship urged the judge to sentence him to the 46 months. He said that he had undergone counseling for his addiction to pornography and planned to take advantage of programs to address the problem while in prison. Winship also said that he hoped to earn his bachelor's degree while incarcerated.

Defense attorney Marvin Glazier of Bangor, Winship, and his mother, Jennifer Johnson, also urged Woodcock to sentence the defendant to 46 months in prison. Malone recommended a sentence in the middle of the guideline range.

Woodcock said he would recommend to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that Winship be assigned to a facility where he could receive treatment for his addiction.

Originally published by Bangor Daily News.

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