Child Porn And Sex With 12-Year Old Brings 5-8 Yrs In Prison

GERING – A Scottsbluff man who admitted to having sex with a 12 year old girl when he was 18 and to having multiple files of child pornography on his phone is headed to prison, but not for as long as he could have.

20-year-old Ashanti Kelley was originally charged with 15 felony counts when arrested last spring, but accepted a plea bargain in October and pled guilty to 6 charges – single counts of 1st Degree Sexual Assault on an Incompetent Person and Attempted Child Enticement via an Electronic Communication Device and 4 counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

Scotts Bluff County District Judge Andrea Miller gave Kelley 5 to 8 years on each of the first two charges and 1-2 years for each of the child porn counts, but ordered all of them to run at the same time. Miller also gave Kelley credit for 246 days already served, which means under Nebraska’s good time law, he will be eligible for parole in less than 2 years.

Court documents show Kelley had sex with the girl on several occasions in the summer of 2017 and filmed her in explicit poses while also saving multiple photos and videos sent through social media – then threatening to publicly distribute the images of the girl if she didn’t perform a sex act on him.

Scotts Bluff County Attorney Dave Eubanks pushed for the maximum sentence, saying not only did Kelley have sex with a 12-year-old girl, he encouraged her to send him sexually explicit photos, then blackmailed her with them. Investigators also found roughly 37,000 messages in Kelley’s SnapChat and Instagram accounts encouraging underage girls to send him lewd photos.

Eubanks said Kelley has refused to take responsibility for his actions and instead claimed the girl manipulated him. Eubanks said that despite Kelley’s young age, he has a record and fits the profile of a sexual predator.

Defense attorney Paul Payne admitted to Judge Miller that Kelley isn’t a perfect person and exercised poor judgement in making horrid decisions, but also pointed to the state’s pres-sentence report that indicated he was a low-risk of reoffending. Payne said Kelley has been a productive citizen since moving to Rapid City, getting married and holding down 2 jobs.

Kelley also spoke at his sentencing, telling Miller he took full responsibility for his actions, saying he was young and made a lot of mistakes and that he wanted to apologize to his victim and her family as well as to his own family. ”

In handing the sentences, Judge Miller said Kelley at times seemed to take ownership of his actions while at others defending the relationship or blaming the girl for it. Miller said she eventually concluded that Kelley’s age did not excuse or justify his actions – especially the level of manipulation Kelley used to set up his blackmail of the girl.

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