After work at a Seattle shipyard Patrick Sheely left his phone on top of his car and drove off. A passing motorist found the cell phone on the shoulder of Highway 99. He made arrangements to return it. Before meeting up with Sheely, the man snooped through the photo gallery. He discovered numerous sexually explicit images involving children.
The man called the State Patrol and detectives opened an investigation. Eventually, Sheely, 60, admitted that he'd been viewing child pornography for about 15 years. Detectives searched his phone and home computers and recovered more than 500 images, including videos of young children being raped, court papers said.
Sheely reported viewing around 10,000 videos and images. He told a therapist that he didn't believe what he was doing was wrong or was hurting anyone, according to a report filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.
“He states he believed it was not real and therefore he could justify continuing to view it,” the therapist wrote.
Sheely denied ever having sexual contact with underage children. A polygrapher concluded that he was telling the truth, court papers said. Superior Court Judge Dave Kurtz sentenced Sheely on Thursday to a low-end sentence. Sheely must register as a sex offender and must engage in counseling and treatment.
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