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Ex-Ohio official sentenced in child porn case

COLUMBUS – A former high-ranking Ohio Department of Education official was sentenced to six months in prison and five years of court supervision after pleading guilty to a single count of possession of child pornography.

The sentencing against John T. Childs, the department’s former chief financial officer and chief operating officer, came Friday in federal court in Columbus.

Childs’ attorney Joseph Scott said his client’s plea agreement included the six-month binding sentence. However, Scott said, he believes Childs would not have received this sentence had the case being tried at the state level.

“It’s not fair,” Scott said. “The federal system is totally unfair, the guidelines are out of whack and they need to be revised.”

U.S. District Court Judge James Graham also ordered Childs, 48, to register as a sex offender while on supervised release. Childs computer will be monitored with software per the judge’s ruling.

Childs, who pleaded guilty in April, was fired Nov. 2 after the agency was provided evidence related to a State Highway Patrol investigation.

A charge made public in April said Childs knowingly possessed images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Childs had 11 images of child pornography on his desktop computer at home when a search warrant was executed in August, according to court records.

Scott had said his client agreed to plead guilty because of a government offer that couldn’t be passed up.

The Education Department says Childs worked on the agency’s financial side, never had an educator’s license, and was not in contact with children as a state official.