East Helena man sentenced to 40 years in prison for child porn

2012-10-13T10:30:00Z East Helena man sentenced to 40 years in prison for child pornBy EVE BYRON Independent Record The Billings Gazette
October 13, 2012 10:30 am  • 

An East Helena man who convinced two pre-teen girls to make pornographic videos will effectively spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.

Kevin Sheldon, 51, was sentenced this week by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Charles Lovell to 300 months in prison for sexual exploitation of children and 180 months for receipt of child pornography. Lovell ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, which means Sheldon’s total sentence is 40 years.

Since there is no parole in the federal system, it’s likely that Sheldon will serve all of the time imposed by the court, making him 91 when he’s released. He can earn a sentence reduction for good behavior, but that can’t exceed 15 percent — in this case, up to six years — of the overall sentence. Upon release, he’ll be supervised for the rest of his life by a probation officer.

Sheldon was convicted by a jury in June in the case, which began after the two girls’ stepmother found videos on one girl’s electronic media player and called law enforcement officials. They found numerous images of the girls engaged in sexual conduct.

The girls told a sheriff’s deputy that Sheldon showed them how to make the videos, and showed them pornography and child pornography.

Upon investigation, a computer found in Sheldon’s residence turned up 23 images of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On the portable hard drive found in Sheldon’s residence during the search, there were 18 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

They include minors engaged in a lascivious exhibition, including adults engaged in sexual intercourse with children.

Sheldon has a previous federal conviction related to child pornography.

The case was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the initiative marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about the initiative, visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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