CHILD PORN:
CHILD PORN: "Candid and frank" admissions to police helped keep high school computer technician Ryan Hodge out of jail when he was sentenced on a child pornography charge in Gympie District Court on Monday.

School employee accessed 72 child porn files

A GYMPIE region man's career in the education system came to an end in Gympie District Court yesterday, when he was sentenced for accessing internet child pornography.

Computer technician Ryan Daniel Hodge, described only as having worked for "a local high school," pleaded guilty to offences between February 12 and July 19 last year.

He was jailed with immediate parole and placed on probation with a $1000 bond.

CHILD PORN: Convicted child pornography user Ryan Hodge, pictured after leaving Gympie District Court yesterday.
CHILD PORN: Convicted child pornography user Ryan Hodge, pictured after leaving Gympie District Court yesterday.

The court was told Hodge was 26 at the time offences.

A police online investigation on May 13, 2018 had examined his use of Torrent file sharing software via an IP address which had been traced to him.

About five months later police from the Gympie Child Protection Investigation Unit executed a search warrant at Hodge's home.

Forensic examination of his computer identified further illicit websites.

Over the five months, he had accessed 72 child porn files. He admitted using search terms such as "Lolita" and "12 years or older".

Prosecutor Suki Bloom told the court the offence was far from a "victimless crime".

"Accessing child pornography ultimately supports an ongoing industry that exploits children," she said.

Hodge's barrister, Adrian Braithwaite, said Hodge had been "candid and frank" with police.'

He had developed an addiction to adult pornography at 13 and had then sought pornography involving people his own age.

Hodge had made voluntary rehabilitation efforts and was presently suspended from his Education Department job on full pay. "He doesn't anticipate this will continue," he said.

Judge Gary Long said Hodge's early guilty plea was a sign of remorse and a preparedness to take responsibility, but it was necessary to denounce the crime.

Further analysis of Hodge's computer identified access to files involving children between 11 and 14. Although the material was "in the lowest category," it was still at a level where actual imprisonment was an option.

Noting Hodge's early rehabilitation efforts, he sentenced Hodge to 12 months jail, with immediate release on a $1000 bond for three years and 24 months' probation.

Gympie Times


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