A 34-year-old Butler man was sentenced Wednesday to a total of five years probation along with fines for downloading child pornography.
Visiting Judge Timothy Creany sentenced John Paul Doerr for 35 counts of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility, which refers to the computer Doerr used to collect child pornography.
In total, Doerr was sentenced to five years probation with the first six months on a modified house arrest with electronic monitoring. The house arrest will be lifted if Doerr gets a job, Creany noted. Doerr must also pay $1,950 in fines and he must register as a sex offender for 15 years. His access to the internet will be monitored for two years.
Creany was brought in from Cambria County after all the Butler County judges recused themselves from the case, citing Doerr's connection to his father, President Judge Thomas Doerr. And the Butler County District Attorney made a similar decision, deferring prosecution in the case to Senior Deputy Attorney General Chuck Washburn with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.
“It's a standard sentence. This is typical in these types of cases,” Washburn said after sentencing. “It's average.”
Doerr originally faced 42 felonies related to child pornography stemming from his January 2019 arrest. Doerr admitted to investigators he downloaded pornographic videos involving children onto his home computer, according to authorities. Charging documents reveal state police arrested him following an undercover investigation into the sharing of child pornography on the Internet.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop six charges of disseminating photos or films depicting child sex acts. In exchange, Doerr pleaded guilty to 35 counts of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility, which refers to the computer Doerr used to collect child pornography.
After pleading guilty in November 2019 he faced up to 252 years of prison in accordance with sentencing guidelines.
This is a breaking news report — pick up Thursday's Butler Eagle to read a full report from Doerr's sentencing hearing.