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Hilo Man Sentenced in Child Porn Case

Posted May 8, 2012, 10:19 AM HST Updated May 8, 2012, 10:30 AM HST
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

A Hilo man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison yesterday for the possession and receipt of child pornography.  Ronald Felts, 67, was prosecuted for downloading the material from the internet and storing the images on computers at his residence.

According to the State Department of Justice, Felts, who was a former Hilo bookkeeper, admitted to downloading and saving the material, knowing that the images depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Authorities say they recovered computers and external hard drives from Felts containing approximately 1.7 million pornographic images and approximately 31,000 videos.

Federal law enforcement agents executing a search warrant on Felts’s Hilo home, recovered the material.  When the FBI submitted Felts’ collection to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the agency reported that it was the largest personal collection of child pornography that it had ever received.

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US Attorney Florence Nakakuni said that according to information produced in court, Felts bought access to various websites which offered child pornography and saved images.

In issuing the sentence, US District Judge David Ezra commented that Felts possessed “incredibly horrific images,” and that Felts’s possession of child pornography in conjunction with his physical exploitation of a teenage girl represented the “perfect storm” of child sex offenders.

Upon release from prison, Judge Ezra also ordered Felts to register as a sex offender in any state where he lives or works, and to undergo sex offender treatment. Felts was also sentenced to a five-year term of supervised release following completion of his prison sentence.

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