Retired Arizona Minister Sentenced to Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

A retired minister in the United Methodist Church was sentenced on Tuesday to serve three to 23 months in York County Prison for possession of child pornography.

Robert Leon, 73, of Ajo, Arizona, appeared before President Judge Maria Musti Cook, who handed down the punishment that was outlined in a plea agreement. He must spend a consecutive three years on probation.

Leon did not make a statement. He previously admitted to the crime in court.

“I downloaded pornography that, as it turned out, was of juveniles,” said Leon, who served as a minister in Maine. “The site had a statement that they took off all illegal pornography, but they did it by the standards of the country that it was in, which was Cypress.”

He acknowledged that the individuals in the pictures were under 18.

The Pennsylvania State Police started investigating on Sept. 1, 2017, after Leon’s former landlord discovered the images while cleaning out a property on Sechrist Flat Road near Sparrow Lane in Chanceford Township.

Victor Myers, Leon’s attorney, said his client was previously incarcerated for eight days in Arizona.

Myers said he will file a motion for that time to count toward the sentence.

Toward the end of the hearing, Deputy Prosecutor Rachel Sherman read Leon his requirements to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Leon opted to immediately begin serving his sentence.


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