SALT LAKE CITY — An Ogden woman has petitioned a federal judge to overturn her child pornography conviction, saying she was in thrall of her husband and co-defendant and was too frightened to report him.
“I was abused by my husband, (he) threatened myself and my daughter, and I was definitely scared to turn him in,” Camila Bergeson, 24, said in her motion to vacate, set aside or correct her sentence.
She filed the document in U.S. District Court with Judge Jill Parrish, who sentenced her in March to two years in prison and 10 years of probation on a charge of child pornography possession.
Bergeson and Jason David Lott, 34, were charged after an FBI investigation. Special Agent Jeffrey Ross said in an affidavit that he downloaded several child pornography images from an IP address associated with the couple’s Ogden residence.
Agents served a search warrant March 16, 2017, and said they found more than 600 images of prepubescent children being sexually abused.
Ross’ affidavit said Bergeson “admitted to looking at videos and images of child porn on the computer with her husband” every few weeks for the past six months.
The couple pleaded guilty in plea bargains.
Parrish sentenced Lott to 11 years in prison and 20 years of probation. FBI agents said they also seized a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition in his possession, and the original indictment accused him of distribution of child pornography.
Lott already was a registered sex offender due to a 2009 conviction in state court for sexual exploitation of minors.
In her petition to Parrish, Bergeson listed several grounds, including her contention that her prison sentence was too harsh for a first-time offender.
She also argued her public defender attorney was ineffective and that she is suffering severe depression because her daughter was taken from her and adopted because of her conviction.
“I truly apologize to the court, but I ask for the court’s understanding that I do fall into the victim category with the abuse that I received from my husband constantly, and I was terribly afraid for my daughter and for myself,” Bergeson’s petition said.
She said she wants to pursue a cosmetology career but that would be difficult with such a long probationary term, 10 years.
She also blamed court-appointed attorney Edwin Wall. She said he “became confused” at her sentencing.
“The judge had to correct him many times,” she said. “This made the judge irritated, and I received a harsh sentence. My attorney always told me that I was receiving probation (only), so (the prison sentence) was such a shock to me and to my family.”
Efforts to contact Wall were not immediately successful.
Bergeson asked Parrish to give her credit for the nearly two years of pretrial release she served without problems before her sentencing; to release her from prison early; and reduce the term of probation.
Bergeson is held at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California.
She is scheduled to be released Jan. 15, 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
Parrish has invited the U.S. Attorney’s Office to respond to Bergeson’s petition before she rules.