Mogul Gets 30 Years: Shipping Czar Sentenced in Child Porn Case

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By Myles Collier , Christian Post Contributor
December 19, 2012|4:22 pm

The founder of an airline shipping company was sentenced to 30 years in prison after he was convicted on several counts of federal child pornography charges. He is still insisting he was framed and that he is innocent, however.

Robert L. Hedrick, 61, was sentenced in federal court in Brownsville, Texas on Wednesday. He continued to place the blame on former business colleagues who allegedly produced the child pornography in order to frame him, according to The Brownsville Herald.

"I can't ask the court for anything … I was framed. I didn't do what I was charged and convicted of," Hedrick said in court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Violet LaTawn Warsaw had requested Hedrick serve 90 years in prison, but the judge reduced the sentence to 30 years, partly because of his age.

"If he had pleaded guilty, because of his age, he would have died in prison," Defense attorney Ed Stapleton said. "At least this way he'll have an appeal."

During the trial, Warsaw explained to jurors that Hedrick wanted to get underage girls to send him sexually explicit pictures that he had picked out by surfing internet chat rooms.

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Hedrick's lawyers tried to prove that it was not him in the internet chat rooms, but rather it was disgruntled former business associates that were framing him.

But prosecutors presented evidence during the trial that Hedrick was indeed the person in the chat rooms. The conversations he thought he was having with underage girls were conducted with undercover officers posing as 13- and 14-year-olds.

Police revealed that Hedrick sent detectives 136 images of adult and child pornography, along with a webcam video of himself masturbating. There was also a tape of Hedrick talking explicitly about sex, according to court documents.

"He was convicted in May on charges related to distribution and possession of child pornography, transfer of obscene materials to a minor and attempted sexual exploitation of children," as reported by the Associated Press.

Hedrick founded Pan American Airways, a cargo airline that ran flights between the U.S. and Latin America. He was also president of a global pool supply company and a logistics company.

 

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