Man collapses while being sentenced on child pornography charges

Crime Watch

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Brandon Jay Rydalch | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — A man being sentenced for child pornography collapsed while giving his statement.

Brandon Jay Rydalch, 33, was sentenced to 10 years in prison with two years fixed and eight years indeterminate on each of his multiple felony counts of possession of child pornography on Monday. The sentences will run concurrently with one another.

“It’s a significant sentence, but I hope my comments today reflect that the offense demands this,” District Judge Dane Watkins said during sentencing. “You will have opportunities, in the future, to be in the community again. I suspect that you will do well.”

Rydalch’s defense attorney Rock Wixom argued Rydalch should have only been given probation in part due to the fact the pre-sentencing investigation showed he is a low risk to actually harm a child himself. Unlike his co-defendant Bryon Lee Moore, 36, who not only introduced Rydalch to child porn but also molested a young girl since the time she was an infant.

Bonneville County Chief Deputy John Dewey argued for a 10-year sentence with two and a half years fixed and seven and a half years indeterminate. He said Rydalch knowingly allowed Moore to place child pornography on his computer and then engaged in viewing it.

“The possession of child pornography is outlandish and I am deeply sorry for it,” Rydalch said tearfully in his statements to the court. “Jail is a horrible place. I hate it. I can’t stand being away from my wife.”

While talking about his wife and apologizing again, Rydalch suddenly collapsed falling to the floor. The bailiff called for assistance and within moments a number of officers came running into the courtroom.

While on the floor, Rydalch asked if his mother, who was in the courtroom, had her inhaler with her because he needed it. He said he is asthmatic and has his own prescription inhaler but that he left it at the jail prior to arriving at court. He said he similarly collapsed in the past.

Rydalch told Watkins that he was not injured and wanted to continue. Watkins allowed Rydalch to rest for around 10 minutes and then continued, however, Rydalch was no longer required to stand as is customary during sentencing.

When the proceedings resumed, Rydalch concluded his earlier statements by asking for the mercy of the court.

Watkins acknowledged that Rydalch provided a clean polygraph test and said sentence would have been potentially much different if he had not.

“It is true, in your case, that no child was touched but as highlighted and understood by both attorneys — there are children who are victimized nonetheless,” Watkins said. “And just because none of those children will walk through these courtroom doors with or without their parents and provide some impact statement — they exist.”