Commonwealth Journal

March 11, 2014

Sentencing delayed in child porn case

Eric Dean Bryant had entered Alford plea to 4 counts

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

A former Pulaski County resident who pleaded guilty by Alford plea to four counts of possession of child porn saw his sentencing hearing delayed. 
Eric Dean Bryant, 25, formerly of Bronston, was expected to be sentenced in Pulaski Circuit Court on Tuesday, but his case has been continued into next month. Prosecutors have recommended a 20-year sentence in connection with the case. 
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 the 87 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a minor that were handed down by a Pulaski County grand jury in 2012. 
The charges were based on an investigation that began in August 2010 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. Pulaski Circuit Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette declined that request. Promoting a sexual performance by a minor is a class B felony and brings 10-20 years per count. 
Bryant will also be placed on the national sex-offender registry. 
During Tuesday’s hearing, Burdette set Bryant’s sentencing hearing for April 17, 2014.