WEST JORDAN – A Salt Lake City businessman sent to prison for possession of child pornography will not be allowed out anytime soon. Wednesday a judge denied Chris Robertson’s request to be released from jail pending his appeal.
Normally downloading nearly 25,000 images of child pornography is a crime that brings harsh prison sentences, but a federal judge only gave Chris Robertson six days. So Robertson was tried again, this time in the Utah state court system, and was found guilty of 20 felony counts. He was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison for each count.
That was a much more fitting consequence for Kristall Butters. Butters is one of Robertson's former employees who turned him in for watching the child porn at work.
Butters said, "How could somebody who was viewing as much child porn as he was get a slap on the wrist? I don't know if you were aware but they found 1,930 victims."
Robertson's defense never denied their client's guilt and neither did Robertson himself; instead they're appealing the ruling claiming the state's case is unconstitutional.
Defense attorney T. Langdon Fisher said, "If the state can bring charges saying ‘we're going to try the federal courts first and that doesn't work out we're going to try the state system’ then the double jeopardy protections mean nothing."
The prosecution says this isn't a case of double jeopardy. Assistant Attorney General Paul Amann tells ABC 4 News the state had the right to try the case again.
Amann said, "In this cases justice was not served through federal prosecution so Dual Sovereignty provides that the state should have, and does have, a right to pursue an offender in its own jurisdiction."
Robertson now heads back to prison where he will await his court hearing before the Utah court of appeals.