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Man given rider for child pornography

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A man who has been viewing child pornography for 20 years has been sentenced to a rider.

Samuel Gale, 34, was sentenced to three to 10 years on five counts of sexual exploitation of a child by possessing child pornography on Jan. 27. He will also have to register as a sex offender. District Judge Joel Tingey retained jurisdiction, sending Gale on a rider.

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“This is something that I’ve dealt with for most of my life. It’s something that I’ve fought against, and it sickens me,” Gale said during the sentencing hearing.

Gale pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of a child in exchange for a binding plea agreement.

A binding plea agreement is an agreement that the judge has to abide by in sentencing, or the defendant can withdraw the guilty plea.

Gale’s plea agreement allowed Tingey to sentence him to probation or a rider. Tingey chose to sentence him to a rider.

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Gale will spend up to a year in prison, where he must undergo treatment. When that time is up, Tingey will then decide whether to place Gale on probation or send him back to prison to finish out his sentence.

Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey recommended that Gale be given a rider so that he will serve some prison time. Dewey said the presentencing investigation recommended Gale be given a prison sentence.

“(Gale) offered no remorse for his actions and he expressed no understanding of the impact these crimes have had on the numerous children victimized in order to create the images in his possession,” according to a presentencing report quoted by Dewey.

Dewey said that Gale had a significant amount of child pornography and that he has been viewing child pornography for 20 years.

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“Since he was a preteen boy, he’s been viewing child pornography and participating in the exploitation of these children,” Dewey said. “Mr. Gale has possessed so much child pornography, but he doesn’t appear to express remorse for these children that are involved.”

Gale was arrested in July 2018 and November 2018 for possession of child pornography. He said since he has been in addiction recovery, he has begun trying to help others struggling with pornography addiction.

“I know that the charges aren’t who I am,” Gale said.

Tingey said there are things Gale can learn while in the rider program that will help in his addiction recovery.

“We’ll have a discussion in about six months whether you might be a candidate for probation at that point in time,” Tingey said.