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Northampton County man given state prison term for downloading child porn

Published May 23. 2018 07:48AM

A Northampton County man was sentenced to a state prison term in Carbon County court on Friday after previously admitting downloading child pornography.

Matthew Charles Ross, 32, of Walnutport, who admitted to disseminating images of children in sex acts via the internet, was sentenced by Judge Joseph J. Matika to serve two to six years in a state correctional institution.

Ross had pleaded to six counts of sexual abuse of children (distribution by photo/film of child sex acts.)

In a plea bargain with the Attorney General’s office, all remaining charges were dropped. Ross was originally charged with 41 criminal counts.

The AG’s office charged Ross after an investigation by the computer crimes unit. At the time of the acts, Ross was living in a residence along Fell Street in Summit Hill, which led to the case landing in the county court.

Attorney Gregory L. Mousseau, chief public defender, said his client was “embarrassed and apologetic” for his actions.

Ross said, “I’m terribly sorry for everything that happened. I apologize.”

Matika, however, noted in a the presentence investigation report prepared by the adult probation office, that Ross first denied and then downplayed his role He also claimed he only did it once. Matika said he was concerned because “this is not the first time this happened.”

Matika said, “People will look at you as a person they don’t want around their child. I don’t blame them.”

The two to six year term is on all six counts running concurrently. The prison term will be followed by four years of state probation.

Matika also ordered Ross to render 100 hours of community service when paroled, get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations, submit to a sexual offender’s evaluation, have no unsupervised contact with anyone under 18, no access to the internet unless supervised and pay court costs of about $1,000.

Ross was evaluated by the state sexual assessment board and was determined not to be a violent sexual predator. However, under Megan’s Law he must register for the next 25 years as a sexual offender.

Ross’s request to delay the start of the prison term was denied by Matika and he was immediately taken into custody by sheriff deputies.

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