Stow man, 75, apologizes for downloading nearly 900 images of child porn, is sentenced to prison

AKRON, Ohio - A 75-year-old Stow man will spend nearly five years behind bars for downloading almost 900 images of child pornography.

Thomas Williams, a married grandfather who retired from BF Goodrich, apologized Thursday afternoon before Summit County Judge Alison McCarty sentenced him to four years and 11 months in prison.

He said he didn't pay for any of the images or distribute them.

"I do realize that children have been hurt by the making of this material and I sincerely regret that I contributed to this by downloading it," Williams said.

In April, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force traced the downloads to the IP address assigned to Williams' computer. Tallmadge Detective Jeremy McGee, who is also an ICAC investigator, responded with Stow police to Williams' home on Stockbridge Drive.

Williams confessed to the downloads, and led police to the computer and a hard drive. A computer forensics examination revealed hundreds of disturbing images involving kids.

"Through my investigations with these, it is one of the higher ones I've dealt with. The numbers are going up with some of these guys. It was pretty shocking," McGee said.

Judge McCarty pointed out that Williams was "a good man who had lived a good life", but she also felt a strong message had to be delivered about innocent children being re-victimized.

"It is hard to imagine what act could be worse than deriving pleasure from the gross exploitation of a child," McCarty said.

Williams, who had no prior criminal record, will be a possible candidate for early release, the judge said.

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