Fmr. PRP firefighter receives 5 years in child porn case

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by Amy Stallings

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 3:07 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A former Pleasure Ridge Park fire fighter stood in front of a Jefferson County circuit courtroom Tuesday morning and apologized before he was sentenced to serve time in prison.

“First of all, I would like to apologize for even being here and apologize to my family as well for everything that is going on,” James Mason Jr. said.  

Mason was an 18-year veteran firefighter who pleaded guilty to having child pornography on his computer and trying to destroy it after his then wife alerted police about the material in 2012.

“It is a five year sentence on a matter of portraying sexual performance by a minor, three counts of that,” Judge Mckay Chauvin said. “Five years for tampering with physical evidence. Those sentences run together for a total of five years.”

The 41-year-old former firefighter has no prior record.

Court documents show Mason gave an explanation as to why the pornography was on his laptop:

“He stated that he had only viewed one of the videos because he had heard how child pornography is getting quote ‘bigger and easy to obtain,” said assistant Commonwealth Attorney Sara Farmer. “So he decided to test his curiosity in the computer search on his laptop for child pornography. The images were disturbing to him and turned off his laptop without giving thought to deleting them.”

The prosecution did not buy the explanation and neither did the judge, who denied him probation on the class d felony.

“It’s the lowest felony we have in Kentucky,” Mason’s attorney, Bill Butler, said. “Probation was not denied by statute. So I’m extremely disappointed because I think he would be an excellent candidate for probation.”

Mason will have to register as a sex offender. He will also have to complete sex offender treatment while in prison before being eligible for parole. 

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