From the AP via NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.: Former Va. ACLU President Gets 7 Years For Downloading Child Porn [emphasis mine]:
A former president of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has been sentenced to seven years in prison for downloading child pornography.
The prison term imposed on Charles Rust-Tierney, 52, of Arlington, is one year less than the minimum sentence suggested under federal sentencing guidelines. But it’s more than the five-year term requested by defense attorneys. Rust-Tierney also received 10 years of supervised release following his prison term.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III gave Rust-Tierney credit for what he said was “an otherwise exemplary life” that included decades of service as a public defender in the District of Columbia representing the mentally ill. Several dozen people wrote letters to Ellis on Rust-Tierney’s behalf, and more than 20 people attended Friday’s hearing in support of him.
According to court documents, Rust-Tierney started accessing child pornography online as early as June 2004. He used his home computer to access child pornography Web sites at least five times between March 2005 and October 2006. In a two-week period in January 2006, he accessed more than 850 digital images and videos of child pornography from one Web site. About 560 images and 137 videos of child pornography were found on computers and digital media taken from Rust-Tierney’s home.
Ellis said Friday that the pornography downloaded by Rust-Tierney “was of the most abhorrent kind,” including torture and sexual assaults on children as young as 6.
Prosecutor Edward McAndrew urged Ellis to impose an eight-year sentence, in line with federal sentencing guidelines. He suggested in court papers that many of Rust-Tierney’s supporters would be less likely to stand with him had they actually seen the type of pornography that Rust-Tierney was receiving.
“The children of this country are at maximum peril when their guardians exploit them,” McAndrew said.
A former Arlington County youth sports coach and civil rights lawyer who once headed Virginia’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison for buying child pornography that prosecutors labeled sadistic and masochistic.
Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, pleaded guilty in June to downloading hundreds of pornographic images of children as young as 4. Authorities said Rust-Tierney used a computer in his 11-year-old son’s bedroom to view the files, which included a six-minute video that depicted sexual torture of children, set to a song by the rock band Nine Inch Nails.
Authorities said Rust-Tierney used his home computer to purchase Internet access to commercial child pornography Web sites at least five times between March 2005 and October 2006, spending about $420. During one two-week span, he accessed more than 850 digital image and video files of child pornography on one site. Many of these files showed children under the age of 12 being forced to engage in sexual acts with adult males, authorities said.
Rust-Tierney has been in jail since his arrest.
A federal magistrate who declined to release him in March described the images she viewed as “the most perverted and nauseating and sickening type of child pornography” she had seen in 10 years on the bench.
Ellis also refused to release Rust-Tierney, saying he posed “a serious risk of harm to the community.” The judge added that “the term ‘child pornography’ does not convey the depravity” of the images that were downloaded.
They say Rust-Tierney had video showing, among other things, the sexual torture of infants and toddlers. The judge said she’d never heard of child pornography that vile and said because of that, Rust-Tierney would stay behind bars until his trial.
Tierney apparently told the feds that he paid for the child porn using a Paypal account and then downloaded images of prepubescent girls being violently raped onto CD-Rom disks, which the authorities seized in his home.
One of the images Tierney was in possession of showed a little girl tied up and screaming while being violently raped.