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Camp Hansen Marine sentenced to 18 months for possessing child porn

By CINDY FISHER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 13, 2008

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Camp Hansen Marine was sentenced to 18 months in confinement Thursday for possessing child pornography and possessing and using Spice, an herbal mixture that acts as a marijuana alternative and can be legally purchased around Japan but is banned by Marine Corps Bases Japan.

Cpl. Edward Morales, a radio operator with 12th Marine Regiment, also was reduced to E-1, ordered to forfeit all pay and allowances and given a bad-conduct discharge at the three-day court-martial on Camp Foster.

Morales testified that he had received numerous images of child pornography when he downloaded pornography collections from other Marines to an external hard drive while deployed to Iraq in 2007.

Morales said he discovered the child pornography when he returned to Okinawa in November 2007. He tried to delete the images from his computer.

The child pornography was discovered when several of Morales’ computers were seized by officials during an investigation for Spice use in May.

Asking for three years of confinement and a dishonorable discharge, prosecutor Capt. Paul Ervasti said the young girls in the images "are the real victims in this case," and "they have to pay for it with the rest of their lives."

The maximum sentence Morales could have received was 12 years and one month in confinement. He has already served 202 days of pretrial confinement.


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