Child pornography offender deemed ‘danger to society,’ sentenced to 54 months in prison

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Farmington man who admitted to having thousands of disturbing child pornography images of little girls 12 and younger, was sentenced in court on Monday.

A judge sentenced Taylor Ryan Keele to 54 months in prison for possession of child pornography. In July 2019, Keele pleaded guilty to possession, and as a result, a distribution charge was dropped.

Cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom but ABC4’s Brittany Johnson was there for Monday’s hearing and transcribed some of what was said.

Quotes from the prosecution who asked the judge to sentence Keele to 84 months:

“Keele will always have a sexual interest for girls under the age of 12. It’s not something that goes away. It’s something you manage.”

“A female child under the age of 12 is not safe in the same room as him.”

“For 20 years, he’s been going to forums and he’s been talking to other offenders. He knew where to go. He became more sophisticated. He chose this. He’s an IT person. Almost 10,000 images went out from his account. He chose to do it at work to hide it from his family and to get the higher speed {internet access at work}. It’s a series of decisions he’s made for 20 years.”

“His interest was younger girls which included babies and toddlers being sexually abused. It’s a sad commentary as to where this crime has evolved to.”

“The bulk of images were female children under the age of 12 with a large amount being under the age of three and that’s something that makes Mr. Keele very dangerous.”

“A red flag is when Keele said this is a pornography problem. This is not a pornography problem. This is about obtaining images that reflect your sexual interest in children.”

“I think he’s sophisticated. He’s been communicating to other offenders and distributing to other offenders. He said he didn’t know he was distributing, but he was an IT manager, he knew what he was doing.”

“I think he’s genuinely sorry for the harm he cost his family but he says nothing in here {referring to court documents} about the victims.”

“He’s a smart man and he can beat this but I think he’s still a danger.”

Quotes from the defense who argued that Keele should serve a lesser sentence of 24 months:

“I believe that Mr. Keele does have an understanding of what he’s done.”

“Keele has been in counseling now for eight months but has done 17 total months of therapy and in that progress report it says he continues to make progress in the program.”

“Keele realized he had a problem and was trying to address it with religious leaders.”

“Keele said there’s no option to turn off peer-to-peer share and didn’t intentionally distribute child pornography. It just shares with someone after you download it.”

“Keele did not intentionally distribute.”

“It isn’t that my client is stepping back from acceptance of responsibility but there’s no way to not distribute if you can’t turn off peer-to-peer share.”

“It’s a horrific secret that he’s spent most of his life trying to get under control.”

“He has an addiction and tried to get it under control, but he relapsed. It was only when we were able to get him into specific therapists, that there was a rational understanding of what he was doing.”

“He’s a lesser risk to the community because of the therapy he’s received.”

Quotes from Taylor Ryan Keele as he addressed the court:

“I do want to take full responsibility for my actions and for all of the images that were found and transferred away and out over the internet. That was something I had control over and I’m responsible for that.”

“I want to express my remorse for the victims, as I’ve been in treatment, I’ve learned a lot about that.”

“Since my crime was only on the internet and I didn’t have direct contact, it was easier for me to tell lies to myself and to tell myself in my head it was OK what I did.”

“Now that I’m stepping back and looking at it from a different view, I understand the harm that I did.”

“These victims, since it wasn’t direct, I don’t know their name, who they are, where they live, but I see their faces and I’m going to have to live with that for the rest of my life. Knowing I was a part of that.”

“I know that because of my actions it did help perpetuate kids being raped and trafficked.”

“I think, what if it was my own kids?”

“It was easier for me to do that because it was images on the computer versus an actual child.”

“I was never seeking out toddlers, even though there were images on the hard drive. You can’t look at a file before it gets downloaded so you don’t know what you’re getting.”

“I didn’t seek help because once it got to that point it was hard. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and it was like I had to turn myself in to get help.”

Quotes from the judge before she delivered the sentence:

“I’m going to place you in custody for 54 months.”

“You have to made wholly aware that you cannot do this. That when you feel the stresses coming on, you will always be attracted to young children and girls, and that’s, unfortunately, something in your makeup. I need to try and impose a sentence that deters you and others who would commit this sort of crime and I hope that does it. I need to make sure as much as I can that you receive whatever treatment that you can receive while you’re in the institution and I need to make sure as much as I can that the victims of your crime receive whatever help they can from the various agencies and therapy. I don’t know that you have gained much insight into what you have done. I hope that through these 54 months that you do {gain insight} and I hope you recognize the danger you present to society, the seriousness of this offense and that when you are released that you will be able to continue your treatment and you will be able to master and get on top of whatever demons you’re facing.”

Keele was taken into custody immediately after his sentencing.

Internet Crimes Against Children:

Report child pornography to law enforcement by contacting the ICAC Tip Line at 801.281.1211 or your local law enforcement agency.

Sexual Assault:

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100.

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