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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Jack Alan Groenendal, 54, of Grand Rapids, Michigan was sentenced on January 27, 2014 to 15 years in federal prison for attempting to receive child pornography, and 10 years for attempting to access child pornography with the intent to view it, U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today. The sentences will run concurrently. In addition to the prison term, Chief U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney imposed an eight-year term of supervised release that will commence once Groenendal is released from imprisonment. Groenendal will also be required to maintain his registration as a sexual offender.
A jury convicted Groenendal of these offenses in October of 2013. The evidence at trial showed that between July 6 and August 9, 2011, Groenendal made a deliberate and sustained effort to seek out child pornography on the Internet and to bring that child pornography onto his computer where he could view it, control it, and use it for his own purposes. At the time Groenendal committed these offenses, he was on supervised release for a prior conviction for possessing child pornography. Groenendal’s probation officer uncovered his activity and enlisted the assistance of law enforcement. Groenendal’s computer was subsequently seized pursuant to a search warrant, and forensic analysis revealed the presence of child pornography on his hard drive.
U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. underscored the seriousness of these offenses, noting that “the possession, receipt, transportation, distribution, and viewing of child pornography perpetuates the harm to the victims depicted in images, validates and normalizes the sexual exploitation of children, and fuels a market, thereby leading to further production of images. The seriousness of the offenses in this case is amplified by the fact that the defendant was under supervision for a previous child-pornography conviction at the time.”
The Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean M. Lewis and Tessa K. Hessmiller prosecuted the case.