Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ex-Legislator Walks Free from Kiddie-Porn Conviction

Posted By on August 21, 2013, 8:00 AM

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Former homeless advocate and ex-Utah legislator Jeff Fox walked free from federal court last week despite pleading guilty to charges of child porn and marijuana possession.---

U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups sentenced Fox on Aug. 13, 2013, to time he had already served while awaiting sentencing after the 65-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Fox, a Democrat who represented northern Cache County from 1977 to 1982 in the Utah Legislature and was director of both Utahns Against Hunger and the Crossroads Urban Center, was represented by defense attorney Ronald Yengich.

In his Statement by Defendant in Advance of Plea of Guilty, Fox initialed that he had possessed, in July 2010, "between 150 and 299 images of child pornography on my computer, these images included depictions of prepubescent children being sexually assaulted by adults," and a "quantity of marijuana cultivated [that] equaled or exceeded thirty total plants and 13 harvested pounds."

When agents from the FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency agents entered Fox's home in July 2010, they found "fertilizer, ventilation equipment, pots, grow lights" and other equipment related to growing marijuana.

According to the statement in advance of plea, Fox faced for the child-porn conviction a potential maximum term of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and supervised release for the rest of his life. For the marijuana conviction, he faced a maximum term of five years and an additional fine of up to $250,000.

Fox's only fine was $200, to be paid in a lump sum immediately after sentencing.

Waddoups imposed "special conditions of supervision" on Fox for his probation, including 500 hours of community service, performed at the rate of 10 hours a week, and six months of location monitoring. He will be a registered sex offender for up to 15 years.

Parts of the case are sealed. Those that are publicly available do not shed light on what the defense argued as to why Fox should be given such lenient treatment, or what Waddoup's reasoning was as to his final decision.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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