A Glendive man with a history of sex offenses will spend 15 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography.

“I’m deeply sorry and remorseful. It’s time for me to step up and accept responsibility for things that I’ve done,” said Eugene Thomas Crawford, 47, as he faced sentencing Friday before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull.

“I’m not coming back. I’m going to be the person I should be,” Crawford said.

Cebull refused a defense request for a seven-year sentence and instead imposed a term near the high end of the guidelines, which ranged from 14 to 17 years. He also ordered a lifetime of supervised release. Crawford must register as a sex offender.

There is no parole in the federal system, but inmates can shorten their sentences by about 15 percent with good behavior.

The judge called Crawford “an extremely dangerous individual” for the community, especially its children.

The sentence, Cebull said, reflects credit he gave Crawford for accepting a sentencing enhancement based on a pattern of activity and for not forcing two victims to testify at the hearing about being sexually abused by him when they were children.

Assistant Federal Defender Dave Merchant sought leniency, saying that a “horrific” incident Crawford had suffered as a child contributed to his behavior later in life. Merchant declined to detail the incident in open court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd said any term less than a guideline sentence would be an injustice and would show Crawford that his “criminal conduct once again has no consequences.”

Hurd called Crawford “a walking menace to society” and said he has “wreaked havoc” on the community. There was no mention in any of the court records or reports about the incident Crawford said he suffered, she said.

Crawford pleaded guilty to receiving child porn on the Internet and had hundreds of images and 125 movies of child porn when investigators served a search warrant at his residence in January 2011. The images were of prepubescent children and of children engaged in sadistic, masochistic or violent abuse.

Crawford admitted to downloading child porn for more than 10 years, saying he would download and then erase the images.

Before getting caught with child porn, Hurd said, Crawford had an extensive history with law enforcement starting with an indecent-exposure conviction when he was 23. He had three more similar offenses and repeatedly failed to comply with court orders, she said.

Crawford received minimal jail time for his fifth sex offense of making sexually explicit calls to people in Glendive in 1998, Hurd said. He also was a suspect in a 1997 Glendive rape case, which the prosecution declined to pursue. The victim, Hurd said, reported being raped by Crawford, who had been a friend. Crawford told law enforcement the woman had “led him on,” Hurd said.

In addition, Crawford has a lengthy history of domestic violence and restraining-order violations, Hurd said.

 

 

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.