MOUNT VERNON — A Mount Vernon man is facing prison time after pleading guilty to downloading and sharing child pornography.
Nathan C. Shepard, 29, pleaded guilty Thursday in Knox County Common Pleas Court to one count of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, a second-degree felony. Knox County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christine Williams has recommended a prison sentence of two years. The charge carries the presumption of a prison sentence.
Shepard was charged following an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force. The task force began investigating Shepard in December 2017, and determined that Shepard had shared images of child pornography on the internet March 23, 2016, Williams said. The image sharing was done in an instant messaging app account traced back to Shepard.
Shepard will be registered as a Tier II sex offender, required to register his address and other information with the sheriff’s office of his county of residence for 25 years.
Common Pleas Judge Richard Wetzel ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Feb. 28.
Also Thursday, Cody D. Compton, 28, Alexandria, was sentenced by Wetzel to two years probation and a 60-day suspended sentence on one count of gross sexual imposition. Compton was further registered as a Tier I sex offender, required to register his address and other information with the sheriff’s office of his county of residence for the next 15 years.
Compton was originally charged with a fourth-degree felony, but the charge was amended to a third-degree misdemeanor. Williams said the charge was amended “to facilitate a plea so the victim didn’t have to go through a trial” noting the case “has been very traumatizing for him.”
According to court records, the charge stems from July 16, when Compton had sexual contact with an adult male who was asleep.
A statement from Compton’s victim was read by Victim Advocate Diana Oswalt. In the statement, the man says that he has struggled dealing with his emotions in the aftermath of the sexual assault.
“I previously possessed no itinerary on how to deal with the toxic emotions,” the victim writes. “I relived the events of the night Cody Compton forced himself sexually on my sleeping body daily.”
The victim further writes that he turned to substance abuse to deal with his issues, and as a result has lost “my prior status as a loving father, patriarch and husband.”
Speaking in court Thursday, Compton said he is sorry but “nothing that I say can make anything better.”