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Parole declined for man found guilty of possessing child pornography

June 30, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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Jon E. Shaffer, 51, originally was sentenced by Common Pleas Judge William Shaffer in March 2017 to six months to one year in jail followed by 13 years probation after being found guilty of child pornography and criminal use of a communications facility during a nonjury trial.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Wednesday’s Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article about the sentencing.

A Butler County judge declined to commute a Pittsburgh man’s jail sentence to parole during a hearing Tuesday, sending the man to Butler County Prison.

Jon E. Shaffer, 51, originally was sentenced by Common Pleas Judge William Shaffer in March 2017 to six months to one year in jail followed by 13 years probation after being found guilty of child pornography and criminal use of a communications facility during a nonjury trial.

The case stemmed from evidence found on his laptop computer.

The defendant’s sentence was postponed while Shaffer’s lawyer, Lee Markovitz, appealed the case to the state’s higher courts on grounds of privacy issues.

The state’s Supreme Court rejected Markovitz’s appeal in 2018, sending the case back to Judge Shaffer.

But Shaffer’s commitment was once again postponed in September 2019 when the MacArthur Justice Center, a constitutional rights advocacy group, appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case this spring.

That decision brought Shaffer back to Butler County, where Markovitz requested his client’s jail sentence be lessened to parole. In support of his request, Markovitz cited the recent sentencing of another offender who was sentenced in June to five years of probation for child pornography.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Wednesday’s Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article about the sentencing.

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