A Perrysburg man initially balked at pleading guilty to pandering, which led to a lengthy consultation with his attorney.
Mark Amendola, 61, appeared Tuesday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matt Reger.
Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Anderson said if Amendola pleaded guilty to one count pandering obscenity involving a minor, the remaining three identical charges would be dismissed.
Amendola said he thought the images he downloaded were fake. He admitted there were nude photos, perhaps 10 as far as he could recall, but they did not include sexual acts.
“I wasn’t searching for anything of that nature,” he said, and added he didn’t realize they were real.
Anderson said that on July 8, Perrysburg Township police received a cyber tip from the Internet Crimes Against Children task force that a known and traceable child pornography image had been downloaded at a Perrysburg home.
A search warrant was conducted Sept. 6 and a computer and storage devices were seized, Anderson said.
Once examined, officers found more than 1,900 images of child porn, Anderson said.
Sobran said his client disputes the number of images found.
“We’re not saying there were no images, but the amount of images is in dispute,” he said.
Prison is not mandatory but presumed, Reger said.
He said he could impose a sentence of two to eight years, with the addition of half the sentence due to the felony charge falling under the Reagan Tokes Act parameters.
That would make a maximum sentence of 12 years, he said.
At that time, Amendola hesitated.
“I will not accept a plea that is not knowingly and voluntarily,” Reger said.
The hearing was paused to allow Sobran and his client to talk.
“Mr. Amendola first indicated he had some contention to the number of photos and then had questions as to the criminality of those,” Reger explained after the hearing resumed.
Amendola pleaded guilty to the facts presented by the state.
Sentencing was set for May 2.