Former cop gets 3.5 years for possessing child porn

A federal judge sentenced a former Oak Harbor police officer today to three-and-a-half years in prison for possessing child pornography.

The sentence was less than half of the eight-year sentence recommended by an assistant U.S. attorney in a sentencing memorandum.

As part of a plea bargain, John Little pleaded guilty earlier this month to a single count of possession of child pornography.

Little, 55, a 27-year veteran of the force, was a patrol officer and formerly the school resource officer at Oak Harbor High School.

In addition to prison time, Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez ordered that Little receive 10 years of supervised release and register as a sex offender.

The case against Little was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, “a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice,” according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Not only did this defendant betray the trust the community placed in him as a police officer, but the fact that he once served as a school resource officer makes his crimes all the more troubling,” U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said. “Our children deserve better. The lengthy sentence imposed today will ensure this defendant can no longer victimize the most vulnerable in our communities.”

In the summer of 2016, federal investigators discovered that Little had been exchanging sexually explicit messages with a 13-year-old girl in another state. FBI agents served a search warrant on Little’s home and seized his cell phone.

Little admitted that he used the Kik Internet-messaging application to engage in sexually explicit chats and exchange pornographic images with at least five girls he knew to be minors. Agents found the chats and images on his phone.

Agents also identified several dozen videos of child pornography on the phone.

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