Brossman sentenced for child pornography

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 Tracy McNew

The Montanian

 

A 57-year-old Libby man will spend the next 30 months in a federal prison after being convicted in federal court on one count of possession of child pornography.

Rodney Lee Brossman, of Libby, was indicted in January 2016, on one count of felony distribution of child pornography and one count of felony possession of child pornography after an investigation spanning nearly two years. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Federal agents approached Brossman in February 27, 2014, executed a search warrant of his home, and seized his computers. Federal court documents, filed in U.S. District Court in Missoula, indicate Brossman admitted to the charges when interviewed by federal agents at that time.

“Agents had learned about concerning images in an email account belonging to Rod and had obtained a search warrant to search his home and seize his computers,” wrote defense attorney Peter Lacny in his sentencing memorandum. “During the search and ensuing interview Rod spoke candidly to the investigating agents without a lawyer, admitting the embarrassing facts and details of his internet crimes.”

According to prosecutors Brossman’s admissions included viewing and trading images of child pornography with a preference for female children under the age of 12.

“Moreover, during the execution of the search warrant the defendant agreed to be interviewed,” wrote prosecutor Zeno Baucus in his sentencing memorandum. “During that voluntary interview the defendant stated that (1) he does view child pornography and had some stored on his electronic media, (2) would view it as much as one to two times per week, (3) engaged in trading child pornography, and (4) stated his preference of images was those involving female children under 12 years of age.”

Brossman initially entered a plea of not guilty to the charges but later entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors wherein the distribution charge would be dropped in exchange for a guilty plea on the possession charge. The April 7, 2016, agreement required Brossman to submit to a polygraph and psycho-sexual evaluation in addition to the standard pre-sentence investigation.

According to Lacny’s memorandum, the pre-sentence report recommended a prison sentence of 97-121 months. The report, however, is sealed by the court and not a public record.

The prosecutor asked the court for a five-level enhancement of the sentence on the grounds that Brossman not only possessed and viewed more than 755 images of child pornography but had also engaged in distributing said images with the expectation of receiving something of value in return.

“When law enforcement executed a search warrant of the defendant’s residence on Feb. 27, 2014, they quickly discovered that the defendant was engaged in not only the distribution of child pornography but the distribution with the expectation of receiving something of value in return,” Baucus wrote. “He admitted, and it was later discovered through a review of his electronic media, that he utilized such file sharing programs as LimeWire and Frost-Wire. Critical to the application of this enhancement, the defendant admitted trading child pornography online.”

Brossman’s attorney Lacny argued Brossman’s lack of past criminal record justified his client being sentenced to one day of custody and ten years of supervised release, some of which would be under house arrest.

“As discussed below, the advisory sentencing guideline range is far too much time when the facts and circumstances surrounding this crime and this offender are carefully weighed,” Lacny wrote. “Rod has no criminal history, his polygraph shows that he has never had any hands-on offenses, he is currently in sex offender treatment, and he is deemed a low risk to reoffend. While Rod does not dispute the seriousness of his offense, and understands that he must be punished for it, he believes that his requested sentence is sufficient to protect the community and specifically and generally deter.”

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen sentenced Brossman to 30 months in federal prison followed by seven years on supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution to the two known victims. The judge also recommended Brossman be placed in the federal correction facility in Englewood, Colo. The document explaining the judge’s reasons for the sentence he imposed were ordered sealed by the court.