RICHMOND — Two sentencings and a change of plea on unrelated child pornography cases dominated the docket Thursday in Madison Circuit Court. Meanwhile, a fourth man has been indicted on similar charges.
Samuel Crabtree, 25, of Mount Sterling, was sentenced to five years in prison after a jury found him guilty in January of 59 counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor. Crabtree received five years on each count, but he will serve the sentences concurrently, for a total of five years.
Defense attorney Fred Peters sought a new trial for Crabtree, arguing that Crabtree had not knowingly possessed the images, which were found on his laptop by a campus computer repair lab at Eastern Kentucky University.
But Madison Circuit Court Judge William G. Clouse denied the motion, saying evidence presented at trial showed Crabtree actively sought, downloaded and viewed the images. Peters said he is preparing an appeal.
In a second case, Ricky L. Fansler, 42, of Berea was sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty in January to 95 counts of possession of child porn.
As in the Crabtree case, Fansler received five years on each count but will serve the sentences concurrently.
Defense attorney Meena Mohanty sought probation for Fansler, but Clouse denied the request.
In a third case, Jeffrey S. Ethridge, 20, pleaded guilty Thursday to nine counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.
Ethridge told Clouse that he had photos of his underage girlfriend on his laptop computer. The prosecution recommended that Ethridge receive five years on each count to be served concurrently.
Clouse scheduled sentencing for Ethridge on April 14.
In yet another case, a Madison County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Ben Norman McCray of Berea on 54 counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor, one count of tampering with physical evidence and one count of first-degree sexual abuse involving a girl younger than 12. He was arrested in December by Kentucky State Police.
McCray is scheduled to be arraigned March 17.