A Gaston man caught downloading child pornography on a dark net website continued to do so even as FBI agents raided his home, seized his computers and after he had undergone two years of treatment.
If Reuben James Mandish hadn’t gotten the message by then, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones said Friday, he didn’t expect Mandish to get the message now without a lengthy sentence.
“After having contraband seized, he went right back and watched more of it,’’ the judge said incredulously. “What in the world is going to stop him again?’’
The judge then sentenced Mandish to eight years in federal prison for receiving child pornography, followed by five years of supervised release. Mandish also agreed to pay $3,000 in restitution Friday.
Jones described the viewing of child pornography as “one of the most heinous crimes in our criminal code.’’
“The nature and circumstances of your crime is simply shocking,’’ Jones said. “The images you sought out were devastating depictions of vulnerable children being horribly abused by adults and even animals….Even though the people who produce and those who merely view child pornography haven’t killed anyone, they have killed these victims’ chances for a normal life.’’
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Maloney sought a sentence of just over 10 years, while Mandish’s defense lawyer Matthew McHenry argued for a five-year prison term, noting that Mandish has no prior criminal record.
Federal authorities seized thousands of child pornographic images from Mandish’s computers, including hundreds of videos that included images of prepubescent children, bestiality, bondage, sadomasochism and rape, Maloney told the court.
Mandish pleaded guilty on Oct. 18, 2018 to one count of receipt of child pornography after his March 7, 2018 arrest.