Man faces prison time for pornMADISON – A Superior man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to possessing child pornography on his home computer in December 2011.
By: By Kevin Murphy/For the Telegram, Superior Telegram
MADISON – A Superior man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to possessing child pornography on his home computer in December 2011.
Samuel W. Dewitt, 40, faces maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, lifetime supervised release and restitution to identified victims at his Jan. 23 sentencing before District Judge William Conley.
Members of the Lake Superior Forensic Technology and Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce executed a search at Dewitt’s Ogden Avenue residence on Dec. 11 and seized a computer that contained video depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.
Dewitt confessed to taskforce members that he downloaded child pornography from the internet which he knew was unlawful to possess, said Altman.
Dewitt repeated nearly same remarks Thursday when asked by Conley if he understood the basis of the charge against him.
In exchange for his guilty plea, the government will dismiss a pornography distribution charge against Dewitt and recommend a reduced sentence for accepting responsibility for his criminal conduct.
After being indicted in July, Dewitt agreed to plead guilty in October but changed his mind and was proceeding to a Dec. 10 trial date. Earlier this month he changed his mind again and Thursday’s plea hearing date was set.
Dewitt, who said he had a master’s degree in physics from an online institution, was on pre-trial release until taken into custody of the U.S. Marshalls after the court conditionally accepted his plea and found him guilty.
While Dewitt faces a statutory10-year maximum sentence, his actual punishment could be less as outlined in advisory federal sentencing guidelines that factor in the age of the children in the videos, any sadistic conduct depicted and the number of images found on the computer.