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Attorneys seek lower sentence for UK man charged with child pornography, citing PTSD

April 14, 2015 · 

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Attorneys seek lower sentence for UK man charged with child pornography, citing PTSD


By Kent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com
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on April 01, 2015 at 4:23 PM, updated April 01, 2015 at 6:27 PM
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Victor Gray Dingler (Etowah County Jail)

Victor Gray Dingler (Etowah County Jail)The sentencing has been delayed for an Etowah County man who pleaded guilty to charges in a child pornography case that began after Danish police spotted a University of Alabama blanket in a photo.

Defense attorneys for 33-year-old Victor Gray Dingler also are arguing for a sentence lower than the sentencing guidelines, according to a new court document filed Tuesday. Dingler’s attorneys are citing his military service and claims that he was also abused as a child.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Hopkins on Wednesday reset Dingler’s sentencing for April 15, court records show. Dingler was to have been sentenced Thursday. No reason for the change was stated in court documents.
Prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum last week that Dingler should be sentenced to 190 years in prison under sentencing guidelines.
Dingler’s attorneys with the Federal Public Defender’s office also filed a sentencing memorandum last week. But it was under seal and not for public view. The public defender also declined comment at the time.
But according to the prosecutors’ response to the defense’s memorandum, which is not sealed, Dingler is asking for a 30-year sentence.
“The defendant’s (Dingler) request for a downward variance of 160 years to a sentence of only 30 years for raping or sodomizing two prepubescent children and collecting over a thousand other images of child pornography is unreasonable,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Fortune states in the response.
“First and foremost, the defendant (Dingler) sexually assaulted two young victims, memorialized those sexual assaults in images and videos, and distributed those images via the Internet,” according to the  filing. “The images he produced of his two victims included … lewd and lascivious behavior, and oral sex.”
“Furthermore, the defendant (Dingler) possessed approximately 1,500 videos and images of child pornography,” according to the prosecution document. “Each of these videos and images were of real children who are also victims of the defendant.”
Prosecutors also argued that Dingler’s military service and claims of post-traumatic stress disorder should not be a factor in the judge’s sentence. “The Government respects his service to the United States Air Force as he helped in the maintenance of combat helicopters. The Government does not dispute deployment with the Air Force may result in a proper diagnosis of PTSD in certain service members, but this defendant (Dingler) has presented insufficient verifiable evidence for the argument that his service caused, mitigated, or justified his conduct in 2011 and 2012.”
Dingler also claims he himself was the victim of child abuse, the prosecutor’s filing states. But that does not mitigate or justify his conduct, the prosecution argues.
“As a matter of common sense, evils committed upon any individual as a child should give that person greater empathy for the effects of such evil, and that person should devote their entire being to preventing the continuance of such evils on a new generation of our children,” the prosecution argues.
Dingler was arrested in September. Investigators said he produced pornographic images involving a 3-year-old child and an elementary school student in Etowah County.
The older child was located in an Etowah County School after Homeland Security Investigations received a series of images that originated from a website located by the Danish National Police. One image had a University of Alabama logo on a blanket visible in the background.
Dingler pleaded guilty in Novemberto five counts of sexual exploitation of children between 2008 and 2014. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing child pornography involving children younger than 12.
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