An Ottumwa man was sentenced to more than a decade in prison for downloading child pornography to his phone, according to the Wapello County Attorney’s Office.
44-year-old Jesse Gardner was convicted on February 24th of 12 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. The State asked the court to sentence Gardner to 24 years in prison, the maximum sentence possible.
The Attorney’s Office says Gardner’s lawyers and family requested leniency with the latter provided statements that said Gardner was an excellent father.
Gardner told the court he merely obtained the illicit images and videos in order to assist law enforcement. However, the State submitted a sentencing memorandum arguing that the defendant admitted to seeking the images on the dark web, downloading videos because they were difficult to find, and using the images for personal purposes.
Judge Kirk Daily sentenced Gardner to 14 years in prison and for him to follow sexual offender requirements.