Naval officer convicted of child pornography charges
February 6, 2009
NAPLES, Italy — A U.S. naval officer was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to child pornography charges.
Lt. Pedro Morin, 33, pleaded guilty to receiving and possessing 360 pieces of both photographic and video images of child pornography.
Though the judge sentenced Morin to five years in prison, a pretrial agreement negotiated between trial and defense attorneys called for a cap of 15 months’ confinement.
"His conduct is the exact opposite of what the military expects of its members," Lt. Jason Connors, the prosecutor, told the judge during Morin’s general court-martial.
Morin, a supply officer stationed aboard the 6th Fleet flagship USS Mount Whitney entered an emotional statement Thursday, apologizing to his family, the Navy and "to the children who’ve been victimized."
The Navy preferred charges on Oct. 16.
Morin was charged under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice with two counts of possessing child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography; and Article 133, one count of conduct unbecoming an officer.
The charges stemmed from Morin’s activities between June 1, 2006, to July 1, 2008.
In addition to confinement, Morin, who was due to be promoted to lieutenant commander in April, instead was dismissed from the Navy, losing all pay and allowances.
Under the felony conviction, Morin, a native of Austin, Texas, must now register as a sex offender.
He will serve his sentence, which began Thursday, in Mannheim, Germany, since there is no brig in Naples.