We have previously discussed child pornography prosecutions, particularly in terms of restitution and sentencing issues. The case of Francis Calar, 53, shows however the addictive or compulsive character of these crimes. Calar was arrested after on a Colorado Army base masturbating in his car while watching child pornography on his laptop. He is a military contractor “technical trainer” and married with two boys at home.
According to court papers, an officer approached Calar’s parked car and witnessed the act before Calar saw the officer and closed his laptop. He is then quoted as giving a series of incriminating statements like “Yes I know you [saw] what I was doing and what I was looking at.” Police say that later Calar “advised that he has an active interest in child pornography,” and used an unsecured Internet connection at Fort Carlson. He is further quoted as insisting that “his sexual interest in children is purely ‘fantasy.’” He told investigators that he works extensively with children from coaching girls volleyball and boys baseball to teaching Sunday school. He is still listed as the coach at the local high school volleyball team. Those activities will now most certainly end.
He will now face one of the heaviest sentencing systems on the books with a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of ten years. He could also, as we have previously discussed, be looking at huge restitution costs. He have already seen how the length of these sentences and the stigma is so high that suicide is an ever present concern in these cases.
Do you feel that a five year mandatory term is justified or excessive in such a case?