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Sentence imposed in child pornography case

Reagan Frawley

Leonardtown, MD -- A former Department of Defense employee has been sentenced for possession of child pornography. Reagan Frawley, 43, was sentenced March 30 by Judge Karen Abrams to 18 months in jail but she suspended all but 90 days of that. Frawley will be spending that time in the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.

According to police reports, an investigation in New York that had tracked an Internet address “offering possible child pornography” led to a raid in 2012 on Frawley’s home in Johnson City, NY. The house, however, was vacant, as Frawley had just moved to Lexington Park to work at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. He was later arrested in St. Mary’s County.

Frawley was charged with both possession and distribution of child pornography. He pled guilty to possession in November of last year. Frawley’s attorney, Steven Vinick of Greenbelt insisted that his client was not a distributor of child pornography nor was he a pedophile. He said the distribution charge was a technical one because the downloads could have been intercepted. “He never at any time emailed anything in New York or St. Mary’s County,” Vinick said.

“He is extremely remorseful,” Vinick reported, adding that Frawley took responsibility for what he did although he didn’t at the time realize the ramifications of his act. Vinick said Frawley knew what he did was “stupid” describing the consequences a s “a nuclear bomb has gone off in his life.”

The attorney painted a picture of a man destroyed by his crime, including losing his job (he has an MBA degree) and being unable to get a new one until a recent job offer in New York.

Frawley’s father addressed Judge Abrams and talked about how devastating what happened has been on his family. “It just tore us apart. We were just completely knocked off our feet,” he said. He asked, as had the lawyer, that his son be placed on probation so he could go back to New York, take the new job, and get on with his life.

Vinick emphasized his client’s minor criminal history (one adult driving under the influence conviction). “He is deadly afraid of going to jail,” he said.

Frawley in addressing the judge, said, “I want to tell you I am sorry for my actions. I didn’t ever imagine the consequences it has brought on me.” He added, “I should have known.”

Senior State’s Attorney Joseph Stanalonis asked Judge Abrams to impose an 18-month sentence, which was above the state guidelines for the crime -- probation to one year. He said the higher sentence was justified because there really are victims in crimes such as that because in the majority of such cases the children involved suffer either physical or emotional injuries.

Judge Abrams took notice of that argument in imposing the sentence which she characterized as light but fair. She said many of the children involved in child pornography “are abducted into a lifestyle.” She said it never would happen if there weren’t customers making a market for it. She added that Frawley apparently wasn’t that disturbed by what he saw or he wouldn’t have downloaded it.

Judge Abrams said she didn’t have a victim to talk to but equated it to a crime, such as assault, with a victim. She said she would have a hard time explaining to them that the perpetrator was really a good guy who didn’t mean to do it.

The judge conceded that Frawley has already been punished. “Your life is a mess,” she observed. But she said some time in jail was warranted considering the offense. Frawley, once released, will be allowed to continue his probation in the state of New York. Judge Abrams suggested that Frawley take advantage of some counseling while on probation.

Contact Dick Myers at news@thebaynet.com

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