Even though Shawn Lynn Keech, 47, said he didn’t realize what he was downloading, and that he didn’t have any victims, Judge Jon Hulsing went with the mid-range of sentencing guidelines and ordered Keech to prison for a minimum of three years and up to 20 years on a charge of child abusive commercial activity.
The sentencing occurred Monday morning in Ottawa County Circuit Court.
Hulsing also sentenced Keech to 270 days in jail on a count of possession of child sexually abusive material and 300 days on a count of using a computer to commit a crime. The jail time is consecutive to the prison time.
Keech was given credit for 30 days already spent in jail.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force picked up on Keech’s activities on Feb. 26, when he visited websites monitored by the task force. In exchange for his guilty plea last month, prosecutors agreed not to bring additional charges against him.
When given a chance to speak at Monday’s court hearing, Keech said his sentencing guidelines were incorrect, according to the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines Manual. He asked for his sentencing to be delayed so that the guidelines could be reviewed.
Keech said he felt like he was rushed on the day he entered his plea and wanted to withdraw his guilty plea.
Defense attorney John Beason said he was not going to withdraw the motion, and that his client faced much stiffer penalties at the federal level if he withdrew his plea at the state level.
Hulsing explained that the guidelines had been recalculated to show no prior felonies. The judge then asked Keech what he wanted to do.
“Just leave it, Shawn,” his mom spoke up from the crowd, later noting that she was fearful of her son going to prison for a much longer time.
At that point, Keech agreed to go ahead with the sentencing.
“I downloaded something I didn’t really know what it was,” he told the judge. “There’s no victims. That’s not the way I was brought up.”
Hulsing disagreed with Keech’s comment, saying there was continued exploitation of the victims. Although the judge said he understood Keech had no physical contact with any of them, Keech still participated in the marketing of child pornography.