Ohio man’s conviction upheld in ‘worst’ child porn case federal judge has ever seen

Robert S. Jones

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Robert S. Jones

A man convicted in a child pornography case a Dayton federal judge called the worst he’d ever seen is still expected to remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

A motion filed by Robert S. Jones asking a judge to vacate the conviction or change his sentence was denied last week. Jones was sentenced to life in prison, plus an additional mandatory 10 years. The federal prosecutor’s office said that the case involved the sexual abuse of an infant, toddler and teens.

Prosecutors during the original sentencing hearing in 2018 called a video in the case a “deviant sex torture video” that was “among the worst, if not the worst, offense … ever seen in this courtroom.”

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“Your depraved and evil actions against the minors … is the worst that I have seen in my 27 years on the bench,” U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose said during the hearing, later adding, “I cannot fathom your release back into society. I could not rest a moment if I knew you at some point would be free to go back into the community and re-offend.”

Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said during the hearing that Jones was abused as a toddler, his guardians were in a Satanic cult, that he didn’t undergo much therapy and that this wasn’t a murder case.

Records show Jones is currently incarcerated at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. He filed a motion last year with the federal court seeking to vacate his sentence, citing issues with his defense counsel. He argued that his defense was ineffective and that plea negotiations were misrepresented to him. He asked that his case be reset to the beginning or that his sentence be changed to 25 years.

Jones argued in motions that he was told an original deal that would have landed him in prison for about 24 years would still be available to him if he pursued a lesser sentence.

However, a recommendation filed by Magistrate Michael Merz says Jones signed a plea agreement that said he was “fully satisfied with the representation, advice and other assistance of this attorney in this case” and that Jones was aware the original deal had expired. Rose adopted the magistrate’s recommendation Jan. 28.

The U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of Ohio announced the ruling on Twitter over the weekend.

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