A Lodi man was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in federal prison for having almost 1,000 videos of child pornography on his home computer.
Duke Nottingham, 61, was found guilty of distributing and possessing child pornography in September for having 965 videos and 579 images of children being sexually exploited. Nottingham will also serve 10 years of supervised release after serving his prison sentence. He is also ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution to two of the minors whose images he possessed. Nottingham must also register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.
“It is a satisfactory sentence,” said Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Delaney, who prosecuted the case.
The case is a result of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood program.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation closed in on Nottingham in July 2009 when an undercover agent came across a computer user in Internet chat rooms associated with the sexual abuse of children. Nottingham was later identified as the user. He used a file-sharing program, enabling the undercover agent, who posed as a fellow child pornography viewer, to download sexually explicit images of children.
Of the files the agent obtained, more than 700 of them contained images of minors being sexually exploited. Multiple images, files and videos showed children being physically bound and sexually assaulted.
Authorities searched Nottingham’s Lodi home in October 2009 and found the stockpile of child pornography.
Nottingham was sentenced during a two-hour hearing Tuesday. Typically sentencing hearings don’t last that long, but United States District Judge John A. Mendez had many factors to consider, Delaney said. Several years ago, sentencing guidelines for child pornography cases were mandated, but now the guidelines are more advisory, Delaney said.
“It’s a very complicated issue related to the evolving state of the law,” she said.
Nottingham had no prior convictions, Delaney said, and that was taken into consideration as the judge weighed his case against other similar situations.
The former foundry worker’s wife, Linda Beckman-Nottingham, said the judge saw family members and supporters of Nottingham at the sentencing and took it into consideration. Part of the reason the sentencing took so long, she said, was because the judge was trying to determine a punishment that considered all the factors in play.
“He [the judge] had a hard time doing what the law wanted him to do,” she said regarding the sentencing.
The couple have been married for almost 40 years and were sweethearts at Lodi High School. Beckman-Nottingham said her husband was suffering from depression, but declined to state what was causing him to be depressed
The Bureau of Prisons will decide where Nottingham serves his term, and will decide in the coming weeks. Nottingham requested to serve his sentence in Washington state, Delaney said, but it’s unclear if that’s where he will be incarcerated.
He requested Washington state because the couple has children and grandchildren there, Beckman-Nottingham said.
Doug Beevers, who represented Nottingham during the criminal trial, declined to comment on Tuesday’s sentencing. Nottingham’s attorney for the sentencing phase, Kresta Daly, was unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.