Former teacher admitsBy Leila Fujimori
he received child porn
A 39-year-old Washington Middle School registrar has pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of receiving child pornography through the mail and the Internet.
William P. Sealy Jr., who had been placed on administrative leave, faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Sealy, a former teacher at the school, had been charged with two counts of receiving pornography and six counts of producing pornographic material involving minors after his March 25 arrest.
The U.S. attorney's office later dropped the six counts involving the production of pornographic videotapes.
Sealy's attorney, Pamela Byrne, told the court yesterday no plea agreement was made with the government. Byrne said she hopes her client will get three to five years and that time spent incarcerated since his March 25 arrest would be considered time served.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo, who is handling the case, said Sealy is expecting a reduced sentence by pleading guilty in advance of trial.
Sentence optionsMaximum sentence for each count is 15 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. The court could order the sentences to be served consecutively. Federal sentencing guidelines also limit the term of imprisonment. Parole is not possible.
"We consider this just as serious as creating the images yourself -- creating the business yourself -- because this kind of activity encourages the creators of child pornography and it provides a market for it," said U.S. Attorney Steven S. Alm.
Sealy had ordered four videotapes from an undercover postal inspector posing as a distributor. The videotapes depicted boys, ages 8 through 13, engaged in sexually explicit acts.
U.S. customs agents and postal inspectors arrested Sealy at his apartment shortly after he picked up the parcel of videotapes from his mailbox. He was found with the unwrapped parcel and one of the tapes in his VCR.
A team of investigators uncovered thousands of child pornography photographs in three plastic containers recovered from his boat, which was forfeited to the government. Sealy had downloaded the images using a computer at the school where he worked.
Although the computer was not forfeited because it belonged to a school, Alm warned businesses that forfeiture might be appropriate in similar situations.
Stern warningAlm also warned those contemplating such activities.
"What helps the law enforcement agents is that it (Internet use) often leaves a trail, and they are becoming better and better at following that trail," Alm said. "In pornography, that's how many of the cases have been made.
"So anyone considering doing this should be aware that there may well be a trail that will lead right back to them, and we will do our best to put them into federal prison."
Sealy had been charged with producing pornographic videotapes of a male minor and himself. The charges were dropped.
Alm said he will attempt to use the tapes at sentencing "to show the full character of Mr. Sealy and what was involved."
Sealy is receiving psychiatric treatment while incarcerated.
"As is often true of people interested in child pornography, he himself was raped as a child," Byrne said. "He went through a weekend of rape by older boys when he was a youngster. He's getting treatment for that."
Sealy's fiancee, a schoolteacher, was present at the hearing. Byrne said they remain committed to each other and plan to get married.
Byrne has received more than 100 letters from co-workers, teachers, former students, his principal and coaches who all "know what he's pleaded guilty to, and all say, despite that, he's a really good guy."
Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren presided over the hearing yesterday. Sealy is being held without bail until sentencing by Judge David A. Ezra on March 27.