Child porn owner sentenced
Thomas Crowe says he knew what he was doing was wrong
A U.S. district judge sentenced a 56-year-old Kailua-Kona man to almost five years in prison yesterday for possessing child pornography.
Thomas J. Crowe will spend 57 months in prison, followed by three years on supervised release. The offense is a Class C felony and carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison.
Crowe, a carpenter, accepted responsibility for the offense before U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway yesterday.
On April 8, 2006, law enforcement officers conducted a search of his home and discovered more than 500 videos and 200 photo images of child pornography on Crowe's two computers. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in December.
Most of the images involved children 12 years old and younger, with some as young as 18 months, who were forced into sexually explicit acts, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Conners. One of the downloaded videos, 20 minutes long, showed a child being tied up and repeatedly raped, she said.
Crowe downloaded the images from a file-sharing program available on the Internet.
One of the victims in the downloaded images, who was videotaped being raped by her father, wrote a letter to the court that Conners read aloud in the courtroom:
"Unfortunately, my hurt does not end with my father. Thinking about all the sick perverts viewing my body being ravished and hurt makes me feel like I was being raped by each and every one of them."
In court, Crowe said he downloaded the images at a time when a relationship he had with a woman ended and when he was unable to work because of an injury.
He said he downloaded all types of pornography, which included child pornography.
"I was lonely, unable to go to work. It was there," he said.
Crowe said he never did or would harm a child and will accept his punishment. "Nothing like this will ever happen again. ... I would truly say I'm sorry," Crowe said.
"I knew it was wrong. I can't believe I did it," he added.
Federal Public Defender Donna Gray said Crowe was a first-time offender who did not intend to share the images with other people. Crowe has since lost his job and home.
Mollway said a significant sentence is warranted. "I think it's important to protect these children and other children from these crimes," she added.
Gray declined to comment after Crowe's sentencing. During sentencing, Gray requested Crowe's sentence to be no more than three years in prison, followed by probation.
Crowe has recently registered as a sex offender. He also must participate in the Sex Offender Assessment and Treatment Program and Substance Abuse Treatment Program due to alcoholism. He is to report to officials by Nov. 5 to begin his sentence.