A top children’s oncologist from Columbus was sentenced Friday morning to one year in federal prison for viewing child pornography.
U.S. District Judge James Graham handed down the sentence for Dr. Christopher E. Pelloski, 40, who also must register as a sex offender and pay a $10,000 fine.
He could have received a 10-year prison sentence.
Pelloski directed the pediatric radiation-oncology program at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University and treated children referred to the James by Nationwide Children’s Hospital from 2010 until he stepped down in July.
He pleaded guilty in November to the charge after investigators linked his computer address to a pornographic movie featuring a 7-year-old girl performing oral sex on an adult male.
Investigators began identifying suspected child pornography that had been downloaded to the doctor’s home computer in October 2012, and observed multiple files being downloaded there from March to July 2013, according to a search warrant.
During a July 16 search at his Roxbury Road home in Upper Arlington, investigators recovered several computers and USB drives and found 85 child-porn files.
Pelloski admitted he’d also downloaded child pornography to an OSU laptop he used, the search warrant says.
A pre-sentence investigation recommended he be sentenced to a four-year prison term, noting that it appeared he had been viewing child pornography for as long as six years and some of what he viewed involved young children having sex with adults, some involving bondage, according to court records.
“The government believes that the position of trust and responsibility the defendant was given in regards to young and vulnerable children heightens his culpability in this case and warrants a significant term of incarceration,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather A. Hill wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
“While the defendant may not have committed acts of sexual abuse or molestation himself, the hundreds of images and videos that he downloaded and viewed involved real children suffering real abuse.”
The sentencing memorandum submitted by Pelloski’s attorneys said their client viewed child pornography in “a misguided attempt at processing his own abuse and repressed memories.” It said he was sexually abused as a young child and compensated by becoming hyperactive and an overachiever.
“But his life should not be defined solely by this offense,” it said, noting that Pelloski is a renowned pediatric oncologist who has worked for years to find a cure for cancer. It said he is being treated by several mental-health doctors and asked for a lenient sentence.
He agreed in August to an indefinite suspension of his medical license in Ohio.
By Kathy Lynn Gray - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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