Braintree Man Appeals Sentence on Porn Charges

Front Page / Feb. 25, 2010 11:57am EST

By Sandy Vondrasek

John Perry Ryan, of Braintree, sentenced on February 8 to 7.5 years in federal penitentiary for “transporting” child pornography, has appealed his sentence to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Despite the appeal, the 62-year-old Ryan will still be required to begin serving his sentence March 9, as ordered by U.S. Judge Williams K. Sessions III at Ryan’s sentencing hearing, held in federal court in Burlington.

Ryan’s defense attorney, David Williams, has also challenged two rulings made by Judge Sessions at the sentencing hearing. Williams is challenging the use of certain evidence at the hearing, as well as the constitutionality of the federal “mandatory minimum” sentencing law.

Early in the case, Judge Sessions had agreed with the defense’s contention that evidence seized in a March, 2007 search of Ryan’s home must be “suppressed,” due to a clerical error in the search warrant. New charges were filed against Ryan, however, when investigation of another man in Washington state yielded evidence implicating Ryan.

Ryan subsequently pleaded guilty in June to two of the new charges—both for transporting child porn—and also agreed to forfeit interest in his Braintree property.

A few weeks ago, Judge Sessions ruled that the previously “suppressed” evidence—purportedly 24,000 images of child pornography—could be used in determining the sentence.

Also at the February 8 hearing, Sessions denied a defense motion that “the mandatory minimum sentence provision be found unconstitutional and/or inapplicable.”

Defense Atty. Williams is challenging both of Sessions’ rulings.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals is based in New York. Appeals can take months, or years, according to the Vermont U.S. Attorney’s Office in Burlington.

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