James Uphoff sentenced in child porn case

Published: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 @ 12:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 @ 12:19 PM

Retired Wright State University professor James K.Uphoff was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in federal prison a year after pleading guilty to possession of child porn.

Uphoff, 77, also the former Oakwood Board of Education president, had entered a guilty plea in October 2013 and reached a deal for a binding sentence from six months to two years.

U.S. District Court Judge Walter H. Rice accepted the plea deal and also ruled that Uphoff must pay $5,100 in fines and be on supervision for 10 years. Uphoff also must forfeit computer equipment, continues ex-offender treatment and register as a sex offender.

Uphoff has spent seven days in custody. The non-binding federal sentencing range for such an offender is from 63 to 78 months. Uphoff must voluntarily surrender to U.S. Marshals within 30 days.

Rice disagreed with a letter he received that Uphoff was"rotten to the core" while adding Uphoff is an"intelligent" and "educated" man who has shown "a lack of judgment."

Uphoff told Rice: "I apologize for my past failures" and that he is searching for "ways I can atone for them."

Defense attorney John Rion spoke about Uphoff's long educational and community background, and said his client feels"humiliated" and "shamed" and that he is amenable to more counseling and treatment.

Assistant U.S. attorney Christy Muncy said Uphoff violated his pre-sentencing supervision more than once and has been viewing materials related to children being used as sex objects for nearly a decade. Muncy asked the court for a sentence of 18 months.

In September 2012, investigators found 550 pornographic images and two videos on three of Uphoff's computer devices.

Investigators also found at Uphoff's residence hundreds of printouts depicting images of naked teenage boys and young adults either in bondage or pornographic poses.

Investigators also found at Uphoff's residence hundreds of erotic stories of adults engaging in sexual acts with some children and engaging in sexual acts with other children.

Ex-officers charged in traffic stop brutality case surrender

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 9:10 AM

Now-former Gwinnett County police Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni and Master Police Officer Robert McDonald.
Gwinnett County Police Department

 

Two former Gwinnett County, Georgia, police officers, who were fired after a traffic stop caught on camera that showed them kicking and hitting a man, have turned themselves in to police.

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Former Gwinnett County police Sgt. Mike Bongiovanni turned himself in on criminal charges just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Former officer Robert McDonald turned himself in late Tuesday evening after his legal team spent the day trying raise the money for his bond. There was some sort of paperwork issue.

Bongiovanni was silent as he walked into the Gwinnett County Jail and paid the $15,000 bond.

Both Bongiovanni and McDonald are charged with one misdemeanor charge of battery and one count each of violation of oath, which is a felony.

The Gwinnett Police Department worked with the district attorney's office during the investigation. 

"The Police Department and its employees will continue to serve the citizens while maintaining our core values and highest level of professionalism," Chief Butch Ayers said.

Videos that surfaced on social media earlier this month showed Bongiovanni hit Demetrius Hollins in the face before McDonald kicked him in the head while he was on the ground in handcuffs.

Prosecutors have since said the video shows what appears to be an object in one of the then-officer’s hands. They said they believe McDonald appeared to have his gun drawn during the incident.

Washington learned that could lead to an upgrade of his battery charge to a charge of aggravated assault.

"I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where both officers appeared to act without justification," Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said.

Bongiovanni told Washington Thursday that his client, Bongiovanni, maintains his innocence and plans to fight the charges.

"He's prepared to defend himself on this. He stands by his actions,” Mike Puglise said.

As for the victim, Hollins said he constantly thinks about his encounter with the former officers.

“I’ve just been having nightmares and in my head and it’s just like, what could I have done that would have not let this happen to me?” he said.

There will be a grand jury hearing for both former officers in the next few weeks.

"Now he has this blemish and he's in the fight not only to protect his integrity of wearing that badge, but he's looking at prison time," Puglise said.

 

Bellefontaine student charged with inducing panic

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 8:19 AM

Photo by Carl Ballou/Getty Images
carlballou/Getty Images/iStockphoto

BELLEFONTAINE — A 16-year-old student was recently charged with inducting panic, according to the Bellefontaine Police Department Facebook page Friday morning. 

The social media post states the charges are related to online video threats. 

The Facebook post states:

“Both he and his family were cooperative with police investigators. No real firearms were involved in this incident. The weapon that the teen is seen holding in the online photo was found to be a plastic replica.”

Police state the department will continue working with the district to keep schools safe. 

We are working to bring you more information about this incident. 

Florida elementary school janitor accused of sexting teen

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 4:09 AM

Matthew Benedict
Lake County Jail

A Florida elementary school janitor has been suspended after allegedly exchanging explicit photos and texts with a 15-year-old boy, deputies said. 

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Matthew Benedict, 29, of Lake County reportedly gave the teen a cellphone and sexted him, WESH reported. 

Even though Benedict worked in the school district, detectives said, that’s not how they knew each other, according to WESH. 

Investigators added that there’s no evidence that Benedict was inappropriate with any school children.

Benedict was charged with possessing a sexual performance by a child and transmitting harmful material to a minor.

Arkansas executes fourth inmate in 8 days

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 2:44 AM

Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days as Kenneth Williams was put to death by lethal injection Thursday night.
Arkansas Department of Corrections

Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, as Kenneth Williams received a lethal injection Thursday night, KARK reported.

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Williams, 38, died at the Cummins Unit prison in Varner. He was convicted of killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in 1999, The Associated Press reported. At the time of his escape, in a hog slop-filled tank in a garbage truck, Williams was serving a life term for killing a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, KTHV reported.

On December 18, 1998, Williams kidnapped Dominique Hurd and her friend at gunpoint and forced them out of their car. Williams shot Hurd in the head, KTHV reported.

On Oct. 3, 1999, Williams escaped from state prison. During his escape, he fatally shot 57-year-old Cecil Boren, who had once worked as a prison warden, KTHV reported. He stole Boren’s pickup truck and then drove to Missouri, where he was arrested after a high-speed chase, KTHV reported.

Williams was sentenced to death in 2000, KARK reported.

The state had planned to put eight men to death before its supply of the sedative midazolam expires on Sunday, the AP reported. Courts issued stays for four of the men who were scheduled to die.

Witnesses in the chamber, including an Associated Press reporter, said Williams lurched 20 times on the gurney before three lethal drugs took his life. The movements were described as “lurching, convulsing, coughing and jerking.”

Shawn Nolan,  one of Williams' attorneys, said in a statement that he is requesting "a full investigation into tonight's problematic execution."

A spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told the AP that Williams’ movements were an "involuntary muscular reaction" to one of the drugs used.

Spokesman J.R. Davis said he expects Hutchinson to review the execution.