Former teacher union president faces skimpy prison term for child porn possession

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DAYTON, Ohio – A former Ohio Education Association union president who was twice caught with child pornography could face a very minimal six to 24 months behind bars for his crimes.
union presidentJames Uphoff, 76, is a retired professor at Wright State University who had previously served as president of the Oakwood School Board and as president of the Ohio Education Association, the statewide teachers union.

Uphoff was convicted last month of possession of child pornography after police found 500 images and two videos on three computer devices at his Oakwood home, the Dayton Daily News reports.

“Court documents indicate investigators found hundreds of printouts depicting images of naked teenage boys and young adults in bondage and/or pornographic poses. Investigators also found on Uphoff’s computer devices hundreds of erotic stories of adults engaging in sexual acts with children and children engaging in sexual acts with other children,” the news site reports.

But that’s not all.

Two weeks ago, Uphoff was allegedly caught again with child pornography while out on bail. He was apparently throwing out some of his old porn materials at his son’s house in Dayton Oct. 22 – less than a week after he pleaded guilty and promised not to look at kiddy sex stuff, according to the Daily News.

Considering Uphoff’s long career in education, it’s curious that no one was aware of his pedophile tendencies until now. It’s unclear whether Uphoff was ever a classroom teacher with access to young children. It’s also unclear whether Uphoff ever acted on his sexual obsession with children.

Uphoff pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography last month as part of a plea agreement that carries a recommended sentence of six to 24 months in prison. The normal sentence for a possession of child pornography charge is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Uphoff is set to appear before Judge Walter H. Rice Jan. 21 for sentencing. The Daily News reports Uphoff’s bond was revoked because of his alleged child porn relapse, and he was booked into the county jail, but later released with new terms that include 24-hour electronic home monitoring and no access to the internet.

He will not be charged for the second offense.

Rice can accept Uphoff’s plea agreement in January, or reject it. If the judge rejects the arrangement, Uphoff’s guilty plea is revoked and he will have an opportunity to enter a new plea, the news site reports.

There seems no logical reason to grant Uphoff a more lenient sentence than a typical child pornographer, and his long history as an educator makes the crimes even more egregious.

If the judge rejects Uphoff’s plea agreement, he will be sending a message that child pornographers – no matter their age or background – should face stiff penalties for exploiting the young and vulnerable.

If he doesn’t, he’ll be sending an entirely different message altogether.

By Victor Skinner at EAGnews.org

 

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