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Local man gets life in prison for child porn crimes judge calls ‘worst that I have seen in my 27 years on the bench’

A 30-year-old local man was sentenced in federal court Thursday to life in prison plus 10 years for producing pornographic images of himself committing sadistic and masochistic sexual and violent acts with an infant and a toddler.

Robert S. Jones, who had lived in Sidney, Piqua and Anna, also admitted to having sex with and coercing multiple teen girls to send him nude photos. Jones had pleaded guilty in September 2017 to 11 of 13 counts in a superseding indictment.

“Your depraved and evil actions against the minors … is the worst that I have seen in my 27 years on the bench,” U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose said, later adding, “I cannot fathom your release back into society. I could not rest a moment if I knew you at some point would be free to go back into the community and reoffend.”

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Court documents said Jones, in one of the videos, looked at the camera and said explicit things about a baby.  Jones then struck and threw the infant, according to court documents, which said two videos involving the infant were recorded in 2013 when Jones lived in Illinois.

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The case resulted after a Federal Bureau of Investigation “Network Investigation Technique” sting identified Jones and other defendants as subscribers of dark web child pornography.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel said that FBI sting led to the investigation of Jones.

“The only sentence that meets the goals of sentencing … is a life sentence. The offense conduct here is among the most horrific, abhorrent, and disturbing crimes a human being could commit against a child,” Patel wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “The cold words inked on paper do not do it justice.”

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Patel wrote that by the time Rose sentenced Jones, Rose would have seen four videos involving the young children as well as sexually explicit photos and videos procured of or from eight teen girls aged from 13 to 16.

Patel said Thursday that the “deviant sex torture video” represents “among the worst, if not the worst, offense conduct ever seen in this courtroom.” Patel said Jones’ non-binding sentencing guideline score of 51 is literally “off the chart” that ends at 43. Patel said Jones “cannot function in a civilized society.”

Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said Jones was abused as a toddler, his guardians were in a Satanic cult, that he didn’t have much therapy and that this isn’t a murder case.

Wearing Butler County Jail orange-and-white clothing, Jones said, “I’d like to apologize to this court and to everybody that I’ve affected.

“Like Jon Paul said, I don’t know why I am the way that I am but I know I have a lot time to think about everything and I just wanted to apologize.”

Rion indicated Jones would appeal the ruling.

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Several of the counts in the Sept. 25, 2017 plea agreement had statutory ranges of 15 to 30 years, some sentences were from to 10 years to life and another included 10 years to run consecutive with other offenses.

An insanity plea was brought up and dropped, and Rose denied Jones’ efforts to withdraw the plea, according to the court docket.

Forfeitures in the case included six phones, two computers, a thumb drive, an X-Box and three Visa debit cards in a third-party name.

Rose said Thursday that Jones had contact with minors after his arrest and that Jones “directed young people to lie to authorities.”

Rose found Jones to be a repeat and dangerous sex offender against minors and must register as a sex offender if he is ever released from prison.

“Whatever of society’s ills befell upon the defendant as an infant, nothing justifies unleashing him back upon society,” Patel wrote. “The defendant simply cannot function in society. His past recidivism is too great, his conduct too damaging and dangerous, and his risk of re-offending too high. Society, particularly its children, simply cannot absorb the potent risk posed by the defendant, now or in the future.”

Rose told Jones he considered the defendant’s crimes intentional and purposeful.

“It turns this court’s stomach,” Rose said. “I don’t think you have any comprehension of the evil you have performed and the damage you have caused.

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