Thursday, November 02, 2017

Sentencing date set for Neosho businessman on child pornography charges

A 9 a.m. November 29 sentencing hearing has been scheduled in U. S. District Court in Springfield for Neosho businessman Blake Altman who pleaded guilt in January to child pornography charges.

Altman's sentencing was originally planned for July 26, but was postponed.

In court documents filed before the original sentencing date, Altman's lawyer, Joe Passanise asked for a lighter sentence for Altman because he posed no danger to the community. "Child pornography offenders do not go on to molest children. (He) has no history of harming or touching children and his criminal history consists of DWI traffic offenses."

Passanise offered other reasons to offer Altman probation:

-"Child pornography offenders are punished far beyond incarceration. They suffer more collateral consequences than other offenders such as being restricted to where they can live, work, and even whether they can visit family members for the rest of their lives."

-Altman "quickly deleted" the child pornography images after he looked at them because that was not the kind of porn he was seeking.

-Counseling and treatment should be considered.

-Altman would be subject to "mistreatment" while in custody.

A federal grand jury indicted Altman, the former manager of Sam's Cellar In Neosho June 16, 2015, charging that he received and distributed child pornography from August 14 to October 1, 2014

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Altman’s home after he was identified in an undercover investigation into child pornography distribution through file-sharing software. Officers seized Altman’s laptop, which contained child pornography images and videos.

The mandatory minimum sentence is five years, but Altman's lawyers are asking that the judge consider lesser Missouri sentences. The maximum sentence is 20 years without parole.

Altman's crimes were described in a motion for detention filed by the government, which was reported in the October 14, 2016 Turner Report.

The defendant was utilizing peer-to-peer file sharing software to receive and distribute images and videos depicting child pornography. The imagery in question depicted children, some as young as infants, engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The defendant, at the time of the search warrant, possessed a rifle loaded with armor piercing bullets, two sets of body armor, and a Kevlar helmet.

The defendant was accused by a family member of inappropriately touching her when he was 16 years old. The accusation was never reported to the police. The defendant told the investigators that his preference was for girls between 10 and 14 years old. This case involves a minor victim..The evidence against the defendant is overwhelming.

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