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Setting some things straight

Dear Editor:With regard to the sentence I recently received (The Aspen Times, Feb. 28), I would like to say the following:The federal sentencing laws in this country have become very punitive. I and many of my supporters have been shocked by the length of the federal sentences. I, however, was fortunate to be sentenced by a very compassionate judge. He stated that my sentence was less than what a strict application of the federal sentencing law would require because of the extraordinary community support that I received from the Aspen community.Indeed, perhaps the only bright spot in this last year of my life has been learning how truly compassionate and forgiving my friends and family in the Aspen community are. I would like the community to know how grateful I am for their unwavering support in my time of great difficulty. Not only had their support been of great solace to me, but it was immensely important to the federal judge who took it into consideration in imposing my sentence.Although I do not want to discuss the facts of the case, in light of the press release by the government which was reported by The Aspen Times, I do feel compelled to set the record straight on two issues. As you know, a search warrant was executed at my home and my computer was seized. During the execution of the search warrant at my home, no child pornography was located other than on my computer. A forensic review by law enforcement of my computer indicated that there were less than 10 illegal images on my computer. Our forensic computer analyst, an ex-FBI agent who worked in the field of child pornography, found only five such images.While I am ashamed and extraordinarily remorseful for the activity in which I engaged, I think it unfair to make more of my crime than the evidence showed.I have been a long and proud member of this community. My faith in this community had been reinforced throughout this ordeal where members of this community, my two ex-wives and my three ex-stepdaughters, have provided continuous and strong support. I quite simply could not have made it through this ordeal without the support of my community and my family. I will go to serve my time understanding that I must be punished for my deeds but also understanding that I will return to a compassionate and caring community.Bill McDonoughWoody Creek


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