Internet child porn draws $500 fine and probation

January 11, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

A hydrologist who distributed child pornography over the Internet has been sentenced to three years of supervised probation and fined $500.

George Robbins, 40, who has moved from Jessup to Silver Spring since his arrest, also was ordered to continue psychological and drug and alcohol counseling and not have unsupervised contact with children under age 18, under the sentence imposed Friday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

"It's a very serious offense," Circuit Judge Clayton R. Greene Jr. said before suspending a two-year prison term. The maximum penalty was 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Investigators found no evidence that Robbins, who is studying for a master's degree in business administration, had contact with minors, according to prosecutors.

Robbins was accused of offering child pornography photographs through electronic mail in March and April of 1996 to a correspondent who turned out to be a federal Customs Service agent, according to charging documents.

Robbins subsequently gave up all his computer equipment to authorities, according to his lawyer, Clarke F. Ahlers.

When federal prosecutors decided not to pursue charges, Robbins pleaded not guilty but agreed to a state prosecutor's statement of facts and was convicted by Greene in October of distributing child pornography.

Pub Date: 1/11/98

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