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Man gets 10 years in child porn case

John "Jack" Brudnock, a former Inverness real estate agent found guilty of possessing child pornography, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in state prison and 20 years' probation.

A jury found Brudnock, 61, guilty on Aug. 21 of 47 counts of possessing child pornography, after it heard two days of testimony centering on whether or not Brudnock knew he stored 47 pornographic images on his computer.

Wednesday afternoon, Circuit Judge Ric A. Howard weighed the content of the pornographic images against testimony from Brudnock's friends and family, as well as a supportive letter from his former co-workers.

Before he announced the sentence, Howard chastised Brudnock, saying he disregarded his responsibilities by downloading the images.

"You should be taking care of your family," he said. "And you didn't _ you dropped the ball."

In addition to the prison time and years of probation, Brudnock will be designated as a sex offender and fined $1,000. He also will be required to secure the court's permission before he has contact with children, including his grandchildren.

Brudnock faced five years in prison for each of the 47 counts. In court, Howard said he based the prison time on two of the most heinous images, which showed sexual acts with an infant and a toddler.

Defense attorney Jim Cummins argued Brudnock should have been charged with only one count of possession of pornography. The files, all showing children no older than 12 years old, were found on one computer. Brudnock did not distribute the images and kept them all in one place, Cummins said.

"It's not something where he'd hidden 47 pieces of child porno in 47 different places," Cummins said.

Assistant State Attorney Richard Buxman disagreed. By opening pornographic files, Brudnock helped to support the child porn industry, he said. There would be no supply of images if there weren't a demand for them, he said.

"If he wasn't doing these things, these children _ these babies _ wouldn't be being tortured," he said.

Before Howard read the sentence, he asked Brudnock if he had anything to say.

"I'll just leave the decision up to you and go from there," Brudnock replied.

Brudnock sat still while Howard announced the sentence. Several of the nearly 20 Brudnock supporters in the courtroom slumped in their seats and rested their heads in their hands as Howard explained the sentence.

"He's not very computer literate," said Russell McClarnon, a retired software developer who testified for the defense at Brudnock's trial. McClarnon maintained that Brudnock did not have the computer savvy to collect child pornography.

"He's going to appeal, and he's going to win," he said after hearing the sentence.

Brudnock's daughter told the court her father is a harmless man.

"I don't think he poses a threat to anybody," said Kelly Morgan, Brudnock's 35-year-old daughter.

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