Friday, November 17, 2017

Sentencing memorandum: Blake Altman told investigators he looked at child pornography to "get in the mood"

Less than two weeks before the sentencing of Blake Altman on child pornography charges, the government made it clear it does not agree with defense attorneys' request that the Neosho businessman be placed on probation.

In a sentencing memorandum filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Assistant U. S. Attorney James Kelleher noted that Altman "repeatedly accessed child pornography sites' from 2001 to 2013 and that his two driving while intoxicated arrests combined with his desire for child pornography made for "a dangerous combination.

Kelleher included a transcript of Altman's initial interrogation by members of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, in which Altman admitted his attraction to young girls, including using the term "pre-teen" when he was searching for new material.

Asked if he ever masturbated to the material, Altman said, "I don't know if I ever actually did because it was more to kind of look up some stuff and then I guess kind of get in the mood type thing."

Altman told the Task Force officers what he was looking for when he used the child pornography file sharing services.

"I was just wanting something, something new to look at besides browsing through the same old stuff."

Though Altman told the investigators his preference was for photos of girls around the age of 14, the materials they found on his computers showed children much younger, according to the court documents, including a photo of an approximately five-year-old girl having sex with an adult male.

Other photos included pre-school age children and bestiality, according to the documents.

Altman's attorneys Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise of Springfield in a sentencing memorandum filed July 26 asked for probation for their client, saying he could go undergo counseling and treatment and said they were concerned Altman might not be safe in prison.

Kelleher said Altman could receive counseling and treatment in prison and noted it would not be sending a good message for someone who admitted he was "interested in younger looking girls with a preference for age 14," who had been downloading child pornography to not receive any prison time.

The government is seeking at least a 15-month sentence for Altman.

The sentencing is scheduled for November 29 in Springfield.

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