A 71-year-old Helena man who already spent time in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography acknowledged in federal court in Missoula Tuesday that he once again has been viewing inappropriate websites.

Patrick Astore entered a formal guilty plea Wednesday to viewing child pornography. He currently is detained, and sentencing is set for Jan. 6, 2012.

Astore caught the attention of the U.S. Attorney’s office in 1999 as part of a Montana-based FBI sting operation, after an undercover agent entered chat rooms on the Internet that are dedicated to child pornography. In that case, the agent posed as a 13-year-old girl on the Internet and Astore attempted to meet with her. He was sentenced in 2001 to 108 months in prison and was released in August 2008, but put under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office.

Astore also had a previous conviction for child molestation in Florida.

According to federal court documents, on Feb. 25, 2011, Astore’s probation officer found a computer in Astore’s residence. When the officer checked the computer, he found Astore had visited several inappropriate websites, including one with pictures of “very young girls engaging in sexually explicit poses.”

Astore was taken into custody, and at a detention hearing held on March 9, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch ruled that Astore posed a “danger to the community” and ordered him to remain behind bars.

Astore was indicted by a grand jury on May 23 on a charge of viewing child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 to 20 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release, according to the indictment.

 

Reporter Eve Byron: 447-4076 or eve.byron@helenair.com

Angry
0
Sad
0
Funny
0
Wow
0
Love
0

Load comments