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Veteran sentenced in child porn case

TAMPA — A local Iraq war veteran will spend 6 1/2 years in federal prison and register as a sex offender for possessing child pornography, a judge ordered Tuesday.

"You are going to prison with your honorable service to this country," U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore said before handing down his sentence. "It's unfortunate."

Julian Russell Clawson, 24, of Tampa, plead guilty in October to one felony count of possessing child pornography. After prison, Clawson must serve 10 years on probation. He remains free until a surrender date is set.

After Clawson's tour of duty in Iraq and discharge from the Florida Air National Guard, he worked as a contract system administrator at MacDill Air Force Base.

Federal investigators said he had more than 700 images of child pornography on his computer.

In court records, Clawson's public defender David Secular said Clawson had a difficult childhood that may have contributed to his behavior. Clawson became sexually active at 7 with two neighborhood girls and was exposed to pornographic magazines by his grandfather about the same age, court records said.

A psychologist testified that Clawson didn't pose a threat to the community and likely wouldn't continue viewing child porn. A separate psychologist previously diagnosed Clawson with depression and anxiety.

"Mr. Clawson is in no way different than any other person who faces this offense," Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Kaiser said.

In a five-page letter to the judge, Clawson quoted the Declaration of Independence, the Bible and Frederick Douglass as he expressed remorse.

"There's still a lot of denial in that letter," the judge said. "But it does tell me you are trying to address and understand these things and move on. And that's commendable."

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Veteran sentenced in child porn case 04/15/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2008 12:23pm]

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