United States District Judge Mary S. Scriven scolded Patrick Connolly as she handed down a 30-year prison sentence in an Orlando, Florida Federal Court. Connolly, a former military contractor, pleaded guilty in January to one count of sexual exploitation of children. 30-years was the maximum sentence that Scriven could impose on Connolly, however, Scriven said she would have sentenced him to life if she could.
Connolly was convicted of hacking into girls’ computers and forced them into making child pornography of themselves. One girl told authorities she was told her sister would be hurt unless she provided pornographic photographs of herself. Several complaints, similar to this one, filed by Brevard County girls led to a criminal investigation about 5 years ago. Investigators eventually arrested Ivory Dickerson, a North Carolina civil engineer. after detectives found over 1 million pornographic images on his computer. As part of his plea agreement, Dickerson pointed investigators toward Connolly. Dickerson was sentenced to 110 years in prison in Orlando Federal Court in December 2007. The FBI eventually arrested Connolly at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Victims of Connolly’s extortion live in multiple states: Florida, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, and Louisiana. One mother of a victim testified at Connolly’s sentencing hearing that Connolly “entered their home through the Internet and spread like a cancer.” One of his victims, a college student at the time of the extortion, testified that she felt like a prisoner. She stated that Connolly threatened her to not to move her web camera and keep her from going to class. To read more about this topic see Former military contractor (Patrick Connolly) sentenced to 30 years for sexual exploitation of children.
The Internet has brought significant changes into our society, especially concerning one’s privacy. Parents need to restrict their children’s access on the Internet. You can consult with your internet service provider regarding the basic steps to take to heighten your security on the Internet.