Thursday, August 7, 2008

Homosexual Navy Cadet Gets 5 Yrs For Child Porn

Senior Navy Midshipman Michael Pollard was sentenced to gets 5 years in child pornography court-martial conviction.

Cadet Pollard says he was afraid to seek help for his sexual addiction.

A Naval Academy senior who had dreamed of flying Navy jets since he was a child, Midshipman Pollard, was sentenced 4 August to five years in prison for downloading child pornography onto two computers.

Midshipman 1st Class Michael Pollard, clad in his dress whites for perhaps the last time, apologized to the Naval Academy, to his father, a retired Navy master chief, and to his mother before he was taken into custody by Navy masters-at-arms.

Pollard, 23, began serving his sentence immediately.

“This seems to be a very decent young man who has led a good life, who happens to be afflicted by a sexual disorder,” Fred Berlin, a clinical psychologist and and founder of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorders Clinic told trial judge Capt. Bruce MacKenzie. “The power of a biologically based drive is such that good people trying their best can fail despite their best efforts.” The nationally renowned pedophilia expert testified that Cadet Pollard was unlikely to ever have physically harmed any children and could have been rehabilitated without jail time.

Doctor Berlin said a forensics study of nearly five years of Internet activity on Pollard’s computers and a background check convinced him that Cadet Pollard suffered from “homosexual pedophilia confined to voyeurism” and that there was little risk that he would have ever tried to make contact with any children even without treatment.

“This appears for him an end in and of itself and is not directed to any other activity. There is no evidence that he ever approached or expressed interest in a child.”

Doctor Berlin said a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine study found that medication, group therapy and behavior modification had proven successful in treating more than 90 percent of people convicted of sex crimes.

But CAPT MacKenzie appeared moved by neither Berlin’s testimony nor by civilian defense lawyer Larry Burch’s request that he be sentenced to just one year in the brig. Instead, he ordered Pollard to prison for six years and ruled that he should forfeit all pay and allowances and to be dismissed from the Navy. This is very reminiscent of the old "six, six, and a kick" that was frequently given to the worst enlisted bad actors.

Under a plea agreement negotiated before the hearing, one year of that sentence will be suspended. The sentence must now be approved by the convening authority, Naval Academy superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler. Fowler can leave the sentence as it is or lower it, but he cannot increase it.

The sentence capped an emotional day of testimony in which lead prosecutor LT Justin Henderson was visibly disgusted as he spoke of more than 1,000 images and files of child pornography Pollard admitted downloading since he was a student at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., five years ago. One of those files, Henderson said, was titled “Boy Party” and featured three 10 year-old boys having sex with each other; other files included sexually explicit pictures of boys “as young as 3.”

Those boys, Henderson said, were made “sex slaves” for life, by the desires and actions of people like Pollard.

Pollard testified that he had been addicted to child pornography since he was a boy and had tried many times to quit. He said he was deeply embarrassed by his desires and was afraid to seek help from the Naval Academy psychologist, but planned to get private counseling when he graduated and was able to afford it.

His mother, Marjorie Henderson, cried as she told of her own struggle with alcoholism and of a conversation she recently had with Pollard.

“He said to me one day, “How could a woman ever love me or want to have kids with me? How could my friends still want to be my friend?’ ”

“You can’t go to your parents with this,” Burch said. “You can’t to the psychologist at the Naval Academy with this. They don’t understand this. He doesn’t even understand this.”

Pollard’s case began when a roommate logged onto his laptop computer to watch a television show during a class break and found the Boy Party video file and a fan fiction story of a sexual encounter between the three brothers on the television show “Malcolm in the Middle.”

The roommate reported Pollard to his class officer. Pollard’s computer was seized, and several months later, he was taken to court-martial.

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