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Published: Tuesday, 1/29/2008

Father of 3 convicted of child pornography

Deputy Mike Willinger handcuffs David Wilton after his conviction in a child-porn case. Deputy Mike Willinger handcuffs David Wilton after his conviction in a child-porn case.

For each one of the thousands of images of child pornography found on David Wilton's home computer, he could have been charged with a felony, according to a Lucas County assistant prosecutor.

Yesterday, the husband and father of three entered a no contest plea to five counts of child pornography and faces a maximum of 26 1/2 years in prison when sentenced Feb. 13.

Wilton, 37, of 5405 Fleet Rd., was handcuffed and taken to the county jail after Judge Stacy Cook found him guilty and revoked his bond.

Originally charged with 25 counts of child pornography, he was found guilty on four counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.

The remaining 20 charges will be dismissed at sentencing.

"He had thousands of pictures and images, and we could have indicted him on thousands of counts," Assistant Prosecutor Robert Miller said.

"In the interest of time and justice and the uncertainty of trial and appeal, we felt this was the best resolution."

Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Lambdin said Wilton's wife discovered several images of child pornography on the family's computer on Sept. 11, 2006. She reported the incident a few days later and the computer containing two hard drives was seized.

"Over 9,000 images and movies were found containing child pornography," Ms. Lambdin said.

All of the images and movies were downloaded into a permanent file on Wilton's computer.

Ms. Lambdin said that Wilton admitted to his wife that he downloaded and possessed the numerous images of child pornography.

The children in the images were not in Wilton's care and he did not film them himself, Ms. Lambdin said.

Defense attorney Jeff Levy said that Wilton's plea was a "fair solution," but noted that a sentence had not yet been imposed.

He said that based on the judge's reaction to the facts of the case - including lowering her head at one point - that he didn't like "the writing on the wall."

"What he pled to was downloading the images," Mr. Levy said. "If you download it, you can be punished the same as if you create it. That's not fair."

Wilton is the father of three children ages 14, 13, and 2. The youngest child lived with him and his wife, who was distraught while in the courtroom yesterday.

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