Mattawan man sentenced in federal child porn case

Updated: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Mattawan man sentenced in federal child porn case story image

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Mattawan man will spend 30 years behind bars after he's found guilty of producing and receiving child porn.

39-year-old James Beckman was sentenced in federal court today on 15 charges including attempted sexual exploitation of a child, attempted coersion, and enticement of a child; along with receiving and distributing child porn.

The judge said that the fact that Beckman was found guilty on wide range of charges made sentencing difficult, but after much consideration, she chose to sentence Beckman to 30 years in prison.

The defense asked the judge for the mandatory minimum of 15 years on all counts, saying Beckman was "in a dark place in his life" at the time of the crimes.

Beckman's family was also in court Friday supporting him, but he declined to say anything to the judge before sentencing.

Some of the victim's family members were in court today as well.

One mother of two of the victims read a statement before sentencing: she told the judge that her sons are struggling to understand why this happened to them; she says they're dealing with a range of emotions from sadness to anger to anxiety.

The mother says the hardest part is Beckman's lack of accountability; she says it was extremely difficult to hear him say during his trial that he didn't do it.

She told the judge, "(w)e don't wish for revenge--only justice."

Due to the concurrent nature of the sentencing, Beckman will spend 30 years in prison.

In the cousre of sentencing, the judge telling Beckman that his crimes are "about as serious as it gets."

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