Thomas M. Dougherty, 44, was found guilty of three counts of possession of child pornography and not guilty on a second indictment involving six other counts of possession of child pornography.
After hearing the testimony, Judge Don Jones sentenced Dougherty to 10 years in state prison — to run concurrently — and a $1,500 fine on each count but then probated the sentence for 10 years, meaning Dougherty won’t serve time. However, he will be required to register as a sex offender.
Dougherty maintained in his testimony that he had downloaded the material to his computer because he had learned that his own children had accessed Lime Wire on home computers and he had concerns about the content of some of the material. He also testified that he never viewed the files after they were downloaded.
Jones said this was one of the most disturbing cases he has had in his 28 years on the bench. He said that if the evidence had shown Dougherty to have had child pornography on his computer for a long time, his decision on sentencing would have been different.
He said, however, that based on the facts of the case, the defendant downloaded the pornography Dec. 7, 2007, and never actually viewed the material.
Dougherty was a tenured psychology professor at Tarleton State University before being terminated after the investigation that led to the indictment.
So many questions on this one. If you never look at it you can still be charged & convicted? Did they think they arrested him before he got time in his busy schedule to look at it? Is it because he knew (or should have known) that it was kiddie porn and didn't delete it? What, exactly, did the judge find so disturbing?