Robert C. Sams appears Monday in Hancock County Common Pleas Court, where he was sentenced to a total of 180 days in jail on eight child porn charges. (Photo by Randy Roberts)

By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT
Staff Writer

A Findlay man was sentenced Monday in Hancock County Common Pleas Court to 180 days in the Hancock County jail for eight child porn charges.

Robert C. Sams, 42, was indicted on 15 charges of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor, a fourth-degree felony, in November. He pleaded guilty in June to eight of the charges, and seven counts were dismissed Monday.

The six-month sentence matched what Sams’ lawyer, Howard Elliott, and Hancock County Assistant Prosecutor Colleen Limerick jointly recommended to Judge Jonathan Starn at the plea hearing in June.

“I look back on it now, I can’t understand why on earth I would do this stuff,” Sams said Monday, adding he wouldn’t do it again. He apologized to his family and the prosecution.

Sams possessed pornographic videos and photos of children, Hancock County Prosecutor Phil Riegle said when Sams was indicted.

According to the pre-sentence investigation report, Sams was experiencing depression, Judge Starn said. His actions were a kind of “self-medication, for lack of a better way of saying it.”

Sams expressed “a strong feeling of remorse” in the report, Starn said.

Sams will have to register as a Tier II sex offender for 25 years, which will require him to register with the sheriff’s office in any county where he lives, works or attends school.

The probation department must approve any contact with minors in advance. Ownership of any internet-capable devices must also be approved.

He will be on community control for five years, and could face additional jail time or 51 months in prison for violations. He is to get a sex offender evaluation and any recommended treatment.

Sams could have been sentenced to as much as 18 months in prison for each charge, or 12 years total.

Starn noted that Sams has no prior criminal history, and prison is not required for the charges against him.

When he was indicted, Sams was the natural resource manager for the Hancock Park District. He was put on leave that month and resigned in January.

Rubright: 419-427-8417
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Twitter: @kerubright

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