Former Naval Academy worker gets probation for child porn

Lack of jail time dismays Arundel prosecutors

June 05, 2003|By Ariel Sabar | Ariel Sabar,SUN STAFF

A Naval Academy worker who pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography was sentenced yesterday to five years of probation and ordered to have no unsupervised contact with children.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner brushed aside a state prosector's request for jail time, noting that the defendant, David N. Sprachner, 44, had no prior record and had sought counseling. Sprachner spent 13 days in jail after his arrest in December and had been on home confinement until his sentencing yesterday.

"We're not happy with the sentence at all," said Kristin Riggin, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County state's attorney.

Sprachner, who had lived in Glen Burnie before moving to Odenton a few months ago, had been a maintenance help-desk employee at the academy for five years when he was arrested in December on child pornography charges. Co-workers had caught him viewing photographs of nude children on his desktop computer.

At his apartment, investigators found more than 50 pornographic images of children.

The Naval Academy fired him in March. The next month, he pleaded guilty to one felony count of distributing pornography in a deal with prosecutors that limited any jail time to 18 months.

"I just want to tell you how extremely sorry I am," Sprachner told the judge yesterday. "My life is ruined because of this."

The prosecutor, Laura Kiessling, told the court yesterday that Sprachner had been living in Glen Burnie with a family with four young children and that he was involved with the Boy Scouts. She asked that Sprachner be ordered to have no contact with children or computers during his probation.

The judge agreed with Sprachner's lawyer that a blanket ban on computer use would severely hinder his ability to find work.

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