Former Air Force staff sergeant jailed for downloading porn

Oct 24 2013 - 2:20pm

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Matthew Kris Harrelson, (Police photo)
Matthew Kris Harrelson, (Police photo)

FARMINGTON -- A judge ordered a former Air Force staff sergeant to serve six months in the Davis County Jail for downloading child pornography.

"I do believe at this point you're contrite and you're sincere," said Judge Robert Dale on Thursday. "But it's unimaginable what the victims are going through."

Dale then sentenced Matthew Kris Harrelson to report to the jail on Friday, giving him credit for the five days he has already served.

Harrelson had pleaded guilty in September to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second-degree felonies. He was originally charged with 10 counts.

Dale sentenced Harrelson to serve 1 year to 15 years in the Utah State Prison on each count, concurrently, then he suspended those sentences. He also ordered Harrelson to serve three years probation with Adult Probation & Parole, beginning the day he is released from jail.

As part of the sentence, Dale ordered Harrelson not to have any access to the Internet and no contact with children under the age of 18 years old.

Assistant Attorney General Ann Rozycki said children involved in pornography are damaged every time their images are traded.

Her office was able to identify one victim found on Harrelson's computer. Dale ordered Harrelson to pay $2,000 in restitution for the victim.

"I'm very sorry for what the victim has gone through," Harrelson said in court.

He then apologized to the court and to his wife.

Harrelson's attorney, Michael Murphy, said when Harrelson realized what he did, he was disgusted with what he saw and deleted the file, but "they kept appearing."

He also said Harrelson was discharged from the Air Force as a result of the guilty pleas.

Harrelson was arrested and charged in October of 2012 following an investigation by the state's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or lpark@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter @LorettaParkSE.

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