Bethany man pleads guilty to child pornography charge

BRIDGEPORT — Mark Porter, 34, of Bethany, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall to one count of accessing child pornography.

Porter also admitted that he violated the conditions of his supervised release that followed a previous federal conviction for possession of child pornography, according to David B. Fein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on Feb. 14, 2008, Porter was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Connecticut to 18 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for possession of child pornography. Porter was released and began serving his term of supervised release July 30, 2009.

One of Porter’s conditions of supervised release was that his computer activity would be monitored by the U.S. Probation Office through the use of monitoring software.

In April 2011, a U.S. Probation officer observed through the monitoring software that Porter repeatedly searched for and accessed images of child pornography on the Internet.

Hall has scheduled sentencing for April 2, when Porter faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on the charge of accessing child pornography. He also faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years for violating the terms of his supervised release. The penalties are enhanced based on Porter’s prior federal conviction on possession of child pornography.

Porter has been in federal custody since his arrest April 26, 2011.