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Kentucky man whose sexual assault sentence was commuted arrested on child porn charges

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A man whose sentence for sexual assault was commuted by outgoing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) last year was arrested on Tuesday on charges of producing child pornography, federal officials said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky announced that Dayton Jones of Hopkinsville has been charged with one count of producing child sex abuse material.

“This prosecution is about one thing and one thing only, Mr. Jones’ conduct in harming someone’s child in the Western District of Kentucky in violation of federal law,” U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman said in a statement

“It serves as a reminder that despite these uncertain times, Kentucky families are well-served by some inspiring federal, state, and local law enforcement professionals that put themselves at risk to protect our kids,” Coleman added.

Jones allegedly created the material in question in October 2014 during the sexual assault for which he was convicted. Prosecutors alleged he created a video depicting his participation in the assault of a 15-year-old boy and shared it through Snapchat. The new charge carries a mandatory minimum 15-year federal sentence and a maximum of 30 years.

Bevin commuted Jones’s sentence in December after losing his reelection bid to Gov. Andy Beshear (D). Bevin at the time cited lobbying by local authorities, adding that he did not believe there was sufficient evidence against Jones and that testimony against him came from “kids who were getting a better deal by throwing [him] under the bus,” according to the Courier-Journal.

Bevin’s post-election pardons have also come under scrutiny, with the FBI reportedly seeking further information about  them.

Bevin pardoned more than 650 people in his final weeks in office, including a man convicted of reckless homicide and robbery who was the brother of a fundraiser.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called the pardons “completely inappropriate.”


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