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Third child porn conviction puts sex offender in federal prison for 12 years

Gerald Benedict was convicted a decade ago for receiving and sending child porn; he was charged yet again for having 38 videos of kids engaged in various sex acts.
Credit: WZZM
Gerald Alan Benedict, 50, a convicted sex offender, was indicted for possession of child pornography.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two prior child pornography convictions are coming back to haunt 50-year-old Gerald Alan Benedict, who was nabbed yet again for collecting illegal images.

The 38 child porn videos were discovered on his phone after a federal probation officer visited Benedict’s Kalamazoo home in July.

“He has returned to the same criminal conduct,’’ a federal prosecutor said.

Benedict in 2011 was sentenced to a decade in prison for child porn convictions in Michigan and Delaware. Titles in his collection included “Pedo Baby,’’ “Child Kiddy Porn Sex’’ and “Lucifer’s Collection.’’  

He told investigators at the time that he'd been collecting child pornography for 15 years. His federal convictions put Benedict on Michigan’s sex offender registry.

In the most recent case, Benedict admitted to having child pornography on a phone he wasn’t supposed to have.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Y. Mekaru urged a federal judge to protect the community from Benedict’s “extraordinary high rate of recidivism.’’

Benedict this week was sentenced to 12 years in prison for possession of child pornography. U. S. District Judge Janet T. Neff also ordered that Benedict serve five years on supervised release once he gets out of prison.

Benedict, a father of two, “is remorseful for committing this offense,’’ defense attorney Sean R. Tilton wrote in a sentencing memorandum.  “He does not want to spend the rest of his life in prison.’’

Benedict was sexually abused by a cousin as a child and says he believes he developed an addiction to pornography – including child pornography, after that abuse, Tilton wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

“Mr. Benedict apologizes to the children depicted in the videos and pictures that he viewed and/or downloaded,’’ Tilton wrote. “Mr. Benedict is ashamed of his actions and that he possessed child pornography again.’’

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