• 54°

Porn case nets surfer probation

“Curiosity” netted a Kitts Hill man probation and a sex offender status during court proceedings Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

James E. Terry, 22, of 2530 County Road 5, Kitts Hill, pleaded no contest to an amended charge of attempt to commit pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

The original charge was pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. In entering the no contest plea, Terry also stipulated to the facts of the case, meaning he recognizes there is sufficient evidence against him.

According to the indictment, the Internet material Terry obtained from the Internet showed children participating “in a sex act, masturbation or bestiality.”

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Terry to four years community controlled sanctions under intensive supervised probation. Terry must also successfully complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center.

Terry’s attorney, Warren Morford said his client was a young man who downloaded some material off the Internet and the child pornography was inadvertently downloaded with the information Terry wanted.

“This is truly a matter where curiosity killed the cat,” Morford said. “He didn’t intend to look.”

Morford said Terry is attending counseling and had never been in trouble before. When asked if he had anything to say, Terry replied, “No sir.”

Terry must register as a Tier 1 sex offender. He must report to authorities regularly for 15 years and notify them if he moves.

He must also not live within 1,000 feet of a school, preschool or daycare. Cooper said the law does not forbid Terry from attending college or vocational classes, something Morford said Terry intends to do.

Terry was arrested in February after Ohio University police alerted the Lawrence County Sheriff’s office that someone was downloading offensive material on or near the Ohio University Southern campus.

Authorities determined that Terry, who was once a student at OUS, kept the necessary Internet pass codes and was using them to log onto the university’s Internet from his personal laptop while parked in a car on or near campus.