Vincent M. Songsong, a 32-year-old man who entered a guilty plea to accusations of having in his possession a laptop computer that contained 226 videos involving the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison on Friday in federal court.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona said Songsong will be given credit for time served and after completing the prison term, will be placed on supervised release for three years.
Songsong has been in detention since he was arrested on Nov. 24, 2014.
Manglona required the defendant to participate in the sex offender treatment program and register as a sex offender.
Songsong was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to at least one victim, who pursued for such payment.
“I believe the severity of this offense speaks for itself,” Manglona said.
The judge said it is one of the most egregious crimes as the most innocent individuals not only in this community but also in other jurisdictions were re-victimized with defendant’s conduct.
Manglona said from downloading of videos containing child pornography, Songsong started actually taking videos of children by himself.
Manglona noted that those children in the videos and images are all true people.
She said the videos included children physically tortured and that to share such videos to others it just exacerbates the victims’ travesty.
Manglona said having the defendant recognized his mistake is a good starting point.
The judge said at his young age, Songsong will be soon released back to the community, and that the court will make sure that at that time he would no longer be a threat to the community.
Before the sentence was handed down, Songsong apologized to the court for his behavior and his crime.
Songsong said he has caused shame to his family, friends, and most especially to the victims.
“Over two years I developed addiction to child pornography,” he confessed.
Songsong said upon reading one of the victims’ statements, he realized that he hurt these victims.
“It hurt me because I have a daughter. I’m ashamed of my actions,” he said.
Songsong said he wants to participate in a sex offender treatment program and do the right thing.
Assistant U.S. attorney Russell H. Lorfing recommended a sentence of 78 months imprisonment, which is the lowest end in the sentencing guideline range.
Lorfing said the court should send a strong message to the community as thousands of images of child pornography are involved in this case.
Lorfing said defendant’s former wife was interviewed and disclosed that he was abusive and that his behavior terrorized her.
Defense attorney Colin Thompson recommended the lowest end in the sentencing guideline range. He said his client recognized his crime and wants to undergo treatment.
U.S. Probation Officer Margarita Wonenberg recommended 97 months imprisonment, which is the highest end in the sentencing guideline range.
Songsong signed a plea deal with the U.S. government. He pleaded guilty last Dec. 3 to an indictment charging him with one count of possession of child pornography.
The offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and a three-year supervised release.
Songsong told the court that he downloaded child pornography videos from the computer. He said he downloaded the videos not knowing the consequences.
The defendant, however, stated he did not watch all 226 videos.
Lorfing said that, from Feb. 17 to 25, 2014, Songsong downloaded all the 226 videos and installed them in his folder entitled “My Shared Folder.”
Lorfing said the defendant knew that the production of such visual depiction involved the use of a minor—specifically, a prepubescent minor or a minor who had not attained 12 years old—engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
The prosecutor at that change of plea hearing disclosed that at least four victims had been contacted, but only three will be pursuing restitution against the defendant.
According to the indictment, from Feb. 17, 2014, until Feb. 25, 2014, Songsong knowingly possessed a laptop computer containing visual depiction of a child less than 12 years old engaging in sex.