Tucson man given 5 years in child-porn case

2014-01-09T18:30:00Z 2014-01-15T14:41:14Z Tucson man given 5 years in child-porn caseBy Patrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Despite pleas for leniency from family members, friends and a defense attorney, a Tucson man was sentenced to five years in prison on charges that he viewed and exchanged child pornography on his computer.

Michael Ray Hill, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor following his May 2013 arrest.

Tucson police tracked Hill after Google notified them of the content of his email account and Web-browsing history.

He originally faced 10 charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. He pleaded guilty to two of the counts.

“In 35 years, this is one of the top travesties I’ve ever seen,” defense attorney John Sando said at Thursday’s sentencing.

Sando asked for leniency for Hill, whom he described in a sentencing memorandum as “just above borderline mentally disabled.” He said Hill has an intellectual development equivalent of a 14- to 16-year-old.

The memo said Hill has suffered with physical and cognitive disabilities for his entire life, which qualifies him for disability benefits.

In addition, Hill helps to care for his ailing mother and disabled stepbrother.

Included in the sentencing memo were 10 letters from relatives and friends attesting to Hill’s character. Most described him as kind and eager to help others.

Sando wrote in the memo that Hill proactively sought counseling for his sexual predilection even prior to his arrest and realizes what he did was wrong.

Hill’s remorse and attempts to deal with the problem notwithstanding, Pima County Superior Court Judge Brenden Griffin had little choice in the sentence he gave. Griffin noted no aggravating factors and substantial mitigating factors when sentencing Hill, but said state law mandates a prison sentence.

He sentenced Hill to the minimum sentence allowed under the law. In addition, Hill will have to register as a sex offender once he completes his prison sentence.

Sando requested that Hill be placed in some form of protective custody while in prison because his trusting nature and cognitive limitations leave him susceptible to predators.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...

Event Calendar

Today's events | Add an event

Most viewed:


Get weekly ads via e-mail