Jeffery Malley, the former Boys and Girls Club employee who was caught possessing child pornography, was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison.
Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins accepted an agreement between the district attorney's office and Malley's lawyer that included the two years in jail time, five years of probation, and 15 years on the state's sex offender registry.
Described by his attorney Louis Menendez as "not a highly intelligent man," Malley, 30, said in court that he was sorry for what he had done.
"I understand what I did and I know how wrong it was," said Malley, as his parents sat in the courtroom watching. "I do recognize the victims of my crimes, there was thousands of them that I did victimize and all I can do now is apologize."
Police raided Malley's house last year and found thousands of pornographic images stored on computer hard drives. Most of the images were of adults, but some were of children as young as 12, according to investigators. The police were acting on a tip from Malley's then-girlfriend.
The two-year prison sentence is a state-mandated minimum penalty for Malley's crime, which both lawyers said was appropriate. The maximum penalty for a first offense of possessing child pornography is 12 years.
There have been no reports that Malley victimized the children he came into contact with as an instructor with the Boys and Girls Club. He was fired from the organization shortly after his arrest. Prior to his arrest, a supervisor described him as a "local hero for many teens."
Menendez said Malley completed a six-week sex offender treatment program in Pennsylvania, was continuing his treatment in town and wanted to continue to pursue treatment during his incarceration. He added that Malley would have to suffer the stigma of being a sex offender in addition to his jail time.
"The shame and stigma that brings him is immense," Menendez said. "His life is forever changed; part of his life is forever over."
Assistant District Attorney Jack Schmidt said that while Malley's actions were "very serious," the sentence was appropriate considering the circumstances of the case, including Malley's past criminal record that consisted of one drunken driving offense.
Collins ordered Malley to report to prison by 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Contact reporter Alan Suderman at 523-2268 or firstname.lastname@example.org.