Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Lawrence man sentenced to more than 3 years in prison for possessing child pornography

December 1, 2017

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A Lawrence man must serve more than three years in prison for possessing child pornography on his phone, a judge ordered.

Matthew J. Gammill, 39, was sentenced Friday in Douglas County District Court. He pleaded no contest and was convicted this summer of one felony count of sexual exploitation of a child, according to court records.

Judge Paula Martin sentenced Gammill to 38 months in prison and two years of post-release supervision.

Gammill also must register as a sex offender, which he has already done.

“This is not a victimless crime,” the judge said. “If people didn’t view child pornography, the children wouldn’t be exploited in this way, and this conduct just continues that exploitation.”

Gammill was charged in the case in January 2016.

Matthew J. Gammill

Matthew J. Gammill

In March 2015, Gammill’s girlfriend found the images on his phone and reported them to police, prosecutor Alice Walker said in a court filing. Walker said a search of the phone revealed more than 80 sexually explicit photos and videos of female children.

In arguing for prison time for Gammill, Walker said this was not the first time he had possessed child pornography.

Following a 2009 police report, Gammill admitted to detectives that he possessed and viewed discs containing photos and videos of child pornography, Walker said in a court filing preceding the sentencing. However, Gammill was never charged following that report, she said. As part of the plea agreement in the new case, the state agreed not to charge him in connection with the 2009 report, she said.

Gammill’s appointed attorney, J.C. Gilroy, had asked the judge for a lesser sentence, probation.

Gilroy said his client shared that he had been sexually abused as a child though no one was ever charged. He more recently sought counseling to help him figure out, “in his own mind,” why he would download the inappropriate images but found he could not afford the therapy.

Gilroy said Gammill also struggled with anxiety.

Gammill, tearful and shaking, also addressed the judge.

“Your honor, this has been a very humbling experience. I can’t even begin to express the amount of shame that I feel because of this,” he said. “I am very sorry for what I did.”

Contact public safety reporter Sara Shepherd
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