A Finley man admitted to a judge in 2005 that he liked to view pictures and videos of young girls engaged in sex acts with other kids and men.
As a first-time offender, Wayne L. Lafferty got just three months in the county jail for the thousands of pornographic images downloaded to his personal computer.
But, once finished with two years of court supervision, Lafferty got another computer and again went in search of porn — first adults, and then children.
This time around he will serve 10 years in a federal prison for a lengthy investigation that uncovered more than 47,000 images of child porn.
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Some of those pictures and videos included “sadistic and masochistic conduct” and sex acts with infants and toddlers.
Senior Judge Ed Shea said Tuesday it’s troubling that Lafferty’s pattern of behavior has gone on for years, even after receiving sex offender treatment.
“This is a serious offense. You simply haven’t reformed your behavior and it’s distressing when … the state system gave you the opportunity” with a sensible, but lenient sentence, said Shea.
Lafferty, 53, pleaded guilty in October to one count of possessing child pornography.
Tuesday, during his sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Richland, two other counts for receiving and distributing child porn were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Court documents show that between October 2015 an January 2016, Lafferty sent 12 child porn files and 25 video files to an undercover agent with Homeland Security Investigations.
When federal agents and members of the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force served a warrant in January 2016 at Lafferty’s travel trailer, he was “at a computer inside, actively viewing and downloading child pornography images and videos.”
Agents found out that Lafferty was on the sex offender registry at the time for his 2005 case in Benton County Superior Court.
Lafferty had been charged in that case with two counts of possessing child porn for downloading 6,000 to 7,000 images on his computer network. He pleaded guilty just weeks after being charged.
In the federal investigation, Lafferty said once his supervision with the Department of Corrections ended in 2007, he got a computer and began searching for terms that would lead him to child porn and viewing it for his sexual pleasure, documents said.
He was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2017.
When agents arrived at his home with an arrest warrant, Lafferty again was on another computer downloading child porn. He denied ever touching a child, but said he liked to look at images of girls ages 9 to 12, court documents said.
Jeremy B. Sporn, Lafferty’s lawyer, said Tuesday that most people have things like family, children, lovers, interpersonal relationships and jobs that bring them joy and satisfaction.
Lafferty has been deprived of that, maybe by choice, and tried to fill those gaps in his life with child pornography, Sporn said.
“That makes him a felon, but it doesn’t make him a malicious person. … There’s an innocence about him that belies some of the offense conduct,” the attorney told the judge. “Mr. Lafferty is an otherwise good man and he became corrupted by this stuff.”
That makes him a felon, but it doesn’t make him a malicious person. … Mr. Lafferty is an otherwise good man and he became corrupted by this stuff.
Jeremy B. Sporn, defense attorney
Sporn added that the judicial system is about the possibility of redemption. “I think that’s where Mr. Lafferty fits squarely in. He is certainly not beyond redemption.”
Lafferty, who’s been in custody, told Judge Shea he is sorry for what he’s done.
“I am going to try and take advantange of whatever is available while I’m in the prison system,” he said. “I hope I learn new skills and other beneficial items also.”
Shea said the recommended 10-year term is appropriate for Lafferty’s actions and should help promote a respect for the law and adequately deter him from future illegal conduct.
That will be followed by 15 years of supervised release, which Shea described as an extension of prison time and “a period that is rigidly enforced in the federal system.”
Lafferty’s lifestyle restrictions while on probation will include avoiding any jobs in the computer, computer software or telecommunications business and the installation of monitoring software on any computer he uses.
The defense asked that Lafferty be placed in a low-security federal facility in Littleton, Colo., for its sex offender management program.
“Mr. Lafferty, I hope you take advantage of the programs at the institution so that upon your release you will be able to function in a legal way,” said Shea.