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Among people charged with the same crime, there is great variation in the time the defendants spend behind bars, whether before or after their pleas, verdicts, or sentences. In the movies, you often see defendants meeting with their lawyers in jail to prepare for their trials and then going free after the jury returns a verdict of not guilty. 

In reality, this is far from the most common outcome, since most criminal cases do not go to trial, and most defendants plead guilty.  It is just as likely that the defendant will post bail and then be free until their plea hearing or sentencing hearing.  Complying with court-ordered restrictions while free on bail can help you get a better plea deal, reducing the amount of time you will spend in jail or prison after your sentencing. 

The defendant in this week’s news story received a prison sentence after pleading guilty to crimes against children, but he was allowed to remain free until his sentencing.  If you are facing charges for a similar offense, contact a Los Angeles child pornography defense lawyer.

Judge Restricts Internet Access for Defendant Free on Bail

In October 2020, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from Facebook that a user had uploaded images of child sexual abuse.  Thus began an investigation that traced the images to an IP address belonging to Shawn Jamison Prichard, 41, a registered nurse from the East Bay Area.  The investigation revealed that Prichard’s devices contained more than 600 sexually explicit images of prepubescent children, infants, and toddlers.

In February 2021, Prichard was charged with possession of images of child sexual abuse, and in March, he pleaded guilty to the charge.  Pending his sentencing, the judge allowed him to go free after his partner Jeffrey Kwan paid $5,000 toward Prichard’s bond; the original bond amount was $50,000.  While free on bond, Prichard was not allowed to access the Internet, except through a court-issued smartphone.  He was also forbidden to have contact with minors, except when those minors’ parents were present.

At Prichard’s sentencing hearing in August, the court sentenced Prichard to 78 months in federal prison, with his sentence to begin on September 29.  (If Prichard had been found guilty at trial, he could have faced up to 20 years in prison.) 

Another hearing has been scheduled for October; at this hearing, the court will determine how much Prichard must pay in restitution to the victims depicted in the images he possessed.  Pursuant to the federal Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018, the court may order defendants convicted of possession of child exploitative images to pay restitution to the victims even in cases where the defendant had no role in creating the image.

Contact an Attorney for Help Today

A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of possessing images of child sexual abuse.  Your initial consultation is always free, so contact the Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.

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