Pennsylvania man who watched child porn, some involving kids aged just one, gets 5 years probation and $1,950 fine

John Paul Doerr III had pleaded guilty to 35 counts of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility


                            Pennsylvania man who watched child porn, some involving kids aged just one, gets 5 years probation and $1,950 fine
John Paul Doerr III (Megan's Law Public Record Website)

BUTLER, PENNSYLVANIA: A Pennsylvania man who was facing more than 250 years in prison over child pornography charges was sentenced to five years probation earlier this week. John Paul Doerr III, 34, was first arrested in January 2019 following an undercover investigation by state police into reports that he was sharing child pornography on the internet, according to charging documents obtained by the Butler Eagle.

He was originally facing 42 felonies related to child pornography after he admitted to investigators that he had downloaded pornographic videos involving children, some as young as just one or two-years-old, onto his home computer. He also confessed to watching several hours of adult pornography but was not charged for the same since it was not illegal.

After he struck a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop six charges of disseminating photos or films depicting child sex acts. In exchange, Doerr had agreed to plead guilty to 35 counts of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility, referring to the computer the 34-year-old had used to collect child pornography. In November 2019, he pleaded guilty and faced up to 252 years behind bars as per sentencing guidelines. 

However, earlier this week, visiting judge Timothy Creany sentenced Doerr to a total of five years probation along with fines. The first six months of probation will have to be served under a modified house arrest with electronic monitoring, though Creany noted the house arrest will be lifted if Doerr finds a job. Doerr was also ordered to pay $1,950 in fines and register as a sex offender for 15 years. His access to the internet will be monitored for two years as well.

The Butler Eagle reported that Creany had been brought in for the case from Cambria County after all the Butler County judges recused themselves from the case, citing Doerr's connection to his father, President Judge Thomas Doerr. The Butler County District Attorney similarly deferred prosecution in the case to Senior Deputy Attorney General Chuck Washburn with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office. Washburn insisted Doerr's sentencing was "standard."

"It's a standard sentence," he said. "This is typical in these types of cases. It's average." According to Butler Radio, Doerr's father had been relieved of the administrative duties of his position as President Judge in 2017 after a lawsuit was filed against him alleging sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination. A Change.org petition calling for his removal said the older Doerr had engaged in a sexual relationship with a subordinate member of his court before manipulating her work assignments and threatening to fire her when she got engaged and pregnant.

"Judge Doerr, elected to keep law and order, has made a mockery of the entire local Butler County courts," the petition read. "He is a disgrace, who has been intentionally removed from prosecuting criminal cases due to his lack of integrity or moral compass. He has been unapologetic and defiant, never once offering any apology, and putting the blame on everyone except his own self," it continued. "Instead of resigning and offering an apology, he continues to leak county money in his over-priced defense, and deny any and all personal responsibility."

It's unclear what happened to the lawsuit.

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