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James F. Battin Federal Courthouse

James F. Battin Federal Courthouse

A federal judge sentenced a Circle man to seven years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for his conviction on possession of child pornography.

Matthew Stoney Olson, 39, appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Billings. In October, a jury took just 40 minutes to find Olson guilty of receipt and possession of child porn, which are two separate counts.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Rubich asked for at least a 17-and-a-half-year sentence. He pointed out that Olson didn't admit guilt in the case, which involved graphic sexual content involving young children.

Federal defense attorney Mark Werner argued for the lesser sentence. He said that a psycho-sexual evaluation of Olson determined him to be at low risk for recidivism.

Additionally, Olson's compliance during nearly two years of pre-trial supervision made him a good candidate for treatment outside prison, Werner said.

Olson said during the hearing that he would accept the sentence, but he asked U.S. District Judge Susan Watters to consider his family, whom he said relies on him.

"I just would like you to remember that I'm not the only one being punished here," he said.

While noting the graphic nature of the pornography, Watters followed the defense's sentence request. She recommended Olson for sex offender treatment. Olson was released until a prison facility is chosen.

Watters noted that, in a rare event for this kind of case, the creator of the child pornography in Olson's possession was found and arrested. As part of that, restitution was being calculated for the child victims.

Olson may have to pay some of that restitution, which will be determined at a later hearing.

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General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.