74-year-old Washington man sentenced to 10 years for sexually inciting a child online


Kip Hill / The Spokesperson-Review

A 74-year-old man from Rosalia, Washington, will spend a decade in federal prison after pleading guilty to luring a child for sexual purposes.

Philip M. Harthill pleaded guilty in April to coercion or incitement of a minor. Federal investigators from the Department of Homeland Security caught Harthill skyping an image of child pornography, in addition to communicating with a UK undercover agent about his sexual interest in the girls, according to reports. court documents.

Investigators seized Harthill’s computer, on which they found nearly 1,500 video files and more than 500 images of child pornography, according to court documents. One of those videos included a video of Harthill chatting with a girl, who said she was 9 and lived in another country, during which Harthill asked her to display her genitals, records show. judicial.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson handed down the sentence in federal court in Spokane on Tuesday. In addition to the 10-year prison sentence, Harthill must remain on probation for the rest of his life.

Harthill had requested the 10-year sentence given his age.

“His offense is serious, but he poses little risk of reoffending, and given his age and the nature of the offense, a 10-year sentence is sufficient but no more than necessary,” wrote the lawyer for Harthill, noting he was pressured into going online. communication after the death of his wife in 2014.

Eastern Washington U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref noted that Harthill used common Internet programs to communicate with the victims, including Skype and other messaging services.

“Today’s sentence is necessary to prevent Mr. Harthill from harming other children, and it should serve as a warning to those who victimize children: our office is committed to prioritizing and pursuing aggressively addressing cases involving online predators and holding them accountable for victimizing the most innocent members of our community,” Waldref said in a statement.

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