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Lockhart man sentenced to 10 years on child porn charges

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

A former Lockhart resident and former Austin Police Department detective will serve 10 years in federal custody for the possession and attempted distribution of child pornography, a judge ruled on Friday.
Lance McConnell, 34, was charged and subsequently indicted on a number of charges earlier this year, after a search o

f his Mockingbird Lane home led authorities to “hundreds of digital images” of children engaged in sex acts. A warrant for the search was obtained after McConnell”s internet provider made a report that an account registered to his name was attempting to e-mail images of child pornography to others.
McConnell, a graduate of Lockhart High School and former police officer, wept as federal officers took him into custody on Friday, reports said. He had been free on bail, but entered a plea of guilty to some of the charges in September.
Earlier in the hearing, he had admitted to being ashamed about the charges, but mentioned that a psychologist hired by the defense had determined that he was not a danger to society. He also asked the judge to consider the well-being of his children, a son and a daughter, who will be well into their teens before McConnell is released from prison.
Federal District Judge Sam Sparks, after weighing testimony offered during the sentencing hearing on Friday, determined that McConnell should spend 10 years in federal custody for his crimes. After his release, he will be required to register as a sex offender.
Sparks also ordered that McConnell not be allowed to use a computer that connects to the Internet or be alone with children younger than 18 years of age for at least seven years after his release, during which time he will be “on supervised release,” a status similar to probation.
Federal rules do not allow for parole. However, McConnell will have a chance to earn time for “good behavior,” meaning he could be released in just over eight years.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, McConnell will be sent out of state to serve his time. Because prison officials sometimes consider former police officers, particularly those charged with crimes against children, to be at high risk from violence from other inmates, the Bureau maintains that the decision to house McConnell outside of Texas is for his own protection.

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