Monday, July 20, 2009

David Pottenger Convicted of Having Child Porn

A former Vandalia-Butler schools’ teacher’s aide convicted of having child pornography on a personal computer told a Miami County judge Monday, July 20, he’s never been “more sorry for the wrong choices” he made.

David Pottenger, 46, of Troy, was charged earlier this year with felony pandering obscenity after child pornography was found on a computer he formerly owned. He was sentenced to two years of community control and given 120 days to pay court costs.

Pottenger also was ordered not to use the Internet unless access is needed for employment. If he violates conditions of the community control, he faces 17 months in prison.

Police said Pottenger sold the computer to a man who put it in a garage sale. A Tipp City woman who bought the computer found the child pornography, and notified authorities.

Pottenger waived a grand jury’s consideration of the allegations against him, pleaded no contest and was found guilty June 1 in county Common Pleas Court.

He returned Monday for sentencing by Judge Robert Lindeman.

Pottenger apologized to family and friends for embarrassing them. “I would like to say that there hasn’t been any other time in my life where I’ve been more sorry for the wrong choices,” he said.

Defense lawyer Andy Pratt said Pottenger was a “decent person who has made a mistake. It’s a serious mistake, and I think he acknowledges that,” Pratt said.

Pratt said Pottenger told him he began visiting primarily adult-oriented web sites, with some sites of children interspersed, while he facing a troubled time in his marriage. Pratt said Pottenger later sold the computer and hasn’t used a computer for some time.

Lindeman said Pottenger had no prior criminal convictions. The judge said he received 18 to 20 letters from counselors, school administrators and others in positions of trust who said they don’t believe Pottenger poses a danger. Those people, Lindeman said, “feel this was a mistake and won’t be repeated.”

Pottenger worked at the Vandalia schools under a contract for aide services with the Miami County Educational Services Center. He worked as a teacher’s aide for the center since November 2005.

John Decker, superintendent of the educational services center, said Monday that Pottenger, who had been on unpaid administrative leave, resigned in June.

Pottenger also was classified as a Tier II sex offender, requiring him to register his address with the sheriff in the county where he lives or works for every six months for 25 years.
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