Ex-Lawrence County deputy sentenced in child porn case




  • In US
  • 2022-10-04 16:46:30Z
  • By Springfield News-Leader

A now-former Lawrence County Sheriff's Office deputy was sentenced Tuesday to four years in federal prison for child pornography.

Joseph Ferzely, 35, was sentenced to the prison time after he pleaded guilty in January to one count of possession of child pornography.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad Delay said in 2020 that Ferzely worked as a full-time deputy in the jail for about a year in 2018 before leaving for a job in the private sector. Delay said Ferzely stayed on, however, as a reserve deputy and occasionally filled in with the department for events or when other deputies were on vacation until he was fired when the child porn allegations came to light in February 2020.

Delay said Ferzely was also occasionally contracted to do security work for Miller schools.

More:Lawrence County reserve deputy fired amid child porn investigation in Springfield

There were no allegations that Ferzely physically abused any children.

Law enforcement officers investigating this case say Ferzely shared a 36-minute video of child porn on the internet. And when investigators subsequently searched his home, they found multiple images and videos of child porn on his computer.

At Tuesday's sentencing hearing, Ferzely's attorney and the federal prosecutor handling the case both advocated for sentences well below the 20-year maximum, citing the relatively few images Ferzely had saved on his computer and the absence of physical contact with any victims.

Ferzely spoke briefly during the hearing. He apologized for his behavior and said his alcoholism played a role.

Judge Doug Harpool ultimately opted for the four-year sentence followed by 10 years of supervised release and an order to pay $9,000 in restitution that would be split between three victims.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Ex-Lawrence County deputy sentenced in child porn case

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