Commonwealth Journal

May 16, 2014

Bryant will serve 20 years

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

A man who last year pleaded guilty by way of Alford plea to possessing child porn was sentenced this week. 
Eric Dean Bryant, formerly of Bronston, appeared before Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette Thursday and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. 
Bryant entered an Alford plea to the four counts of possessing child pornography in July 2013. 
An Alford plea is entered when a defendant maintains his or her innocence but recognizes that enough evidence exists to bring about a conviction during a trial.
Those four counts were amended down from a total of 87 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a minor, which were handed down by a Pulaski County grand jury in 2012. 
The charges were based on an investigation that began after an undercover police officer in Wheaton, Ill. allegedly discovered that a suspect, later identified as Bryant, was sharing child pornography via the Internet. Officials in Wheaton, Ill. contacted the local authorities after those files were traced back to Pulaski County, according to the sheriff’s department. 
A search was carried out at Judy Drive in Bronston, where Bryant was living at the time. 
A number of items, including computers, CDs, flash drives and cell phones, were confiscated during the search and sent to the Kentucky State Police Computers Crimes Section in Frankfort, where forensic examiners found 87 images and videos depicting various children under the age of 16 engaged in different sexual acts.
In January of this year Bryant asked that he be permitted to withdraw his Alford plea. Burdette declined that request. 
Along with the 20-year sentence, Bryant will also be placed on the national sex-offender registry for life. 
 
Heather Tomlinson is a staff writer for the Commonwealth Journal. She can be reached at htomlinson@somerset-kentucky.com.