Court Affirms 30-Year Prison Sentence for Child Pornography Producer
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 13, 2010|
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that on December 10, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has affirmed the prison sentence of Angela Larkin, age 41. Larkin, a former Cameron County resident, was previously sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, to serve 30 years in prison for producing child pornography on her computer.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Larkin pled guilty to producing child pornography of young relatives which she then sent to a pedophile in Texas in the fall of 2003.
The charge against Larkin resulted from a joint investigation by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police initiated in February 2004. She was arrested in near Reading, Pennsylvania, and has been in custody since then.
Larkin was sentenced by Judge Jones on May 22, 2009. In appealing her sentence, Larkin claimed that the 30-year prison sentence was unreasonable and the government breached the plea agreement by requesting an upward variance from the guidelines at sentencing.
The Third Circuit ruled, however, that the government did not breach the plea agreement and that Judge Jones properly considered and applied the relevant sentencing factors and imposed a reasonable sentence, noting that Judge Jones mentioned that “other than homicide, this was the worst case that I have seen not only in the seven years on the federal bench, but in 22 years of lawyering before that.” The court also noted that Judge Jones considered properly Larkin’s age and family background but still lawfully imposed a sentence similar to one for her co-defendant, Richard King.
The court ruled that the government did not breach the plea agreement by responding to Judge Jones’s requests to brief issues which supported a sentence greater than called for by the sentencing guidelines, noting that under the terms of the plea agreement, the government was permitted to respond to any court inquiries and that Judge Jones was within his authority in imposing the maximum sentence allowed by the statute.
U.S. Attorney Smith noted that the case and appeal were handled by Assistant United States Attorney Fred Martin.