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Pediatric doctor in child porn case gets prison

ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
AP Legal Affairs Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former top pediatric cancer doctor was sentenced to a year and one day in federal prison Friday following his guilty plea to a charge of accessing child pornography.

Before sentencing, Christopher Pelloski told federal Judge James Graham he had harmed children, shamed his family and burdened colleagues in the pediatric cancer field by committing a crime that meant he would never practice medicine again.

Pelloski, the former director of Ohio State University’s pediatric cancer radiation program, said he also added to the pain felt by families whose children he was treating, since they had to wonder if he had ever harmed their children.

“I’ve generated a lot of harm and I’ve hurt those who loved me the most,” Pelloski said.

The government found no evidence that Pelloski committed crimes with children under his care.

Graham also fined Pelloski $10,000, placed him on federal supervision for five years after his release from prison and strictly restricted his future Internet use. Pelloski must also register as a sex offender.

Pelloski said he hopes to get a job researching cancer cures and become an anti-child pornography advocate.

Graham said his goal was imposing a sentence strict enough to reflect the seriousness of the crime but taking into account several positive things about Pelloski, including his career spent researching and treating childhood cancer.

The judge said Pelloski’s case highlighted the “mushrooming social phenomenon spawned by the literal ocean of pornography, adult and child, that circulates on the Internet.”

Graham allowed Pelloski, 40, to stay free on bond and report to a federal prison in two months. Graham said he would recommend a low-security camp-type facility as close to Columbus as possible.

Assistant federal prosecutor Heather Hill had sought a sentence of at least 18 months. She noted Pelloski’s activity dated back to 2007.

“He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he chose to continue doing it over and over and over again,” she said.

A criminal complaint against Pelloski last summer said he acknowledged to investigators that he used his home desktop computer and a laptop belonging to Ohio State University to download child pornography, including videos and photos.

Evidence against Pelloski included two graphic videos and about 85 images of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus

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