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Wakefield man found guilty of 10 counts of child porn possession


July 29, 2010
OSSIPEE — A Wakefield man has been found guilty of 10 counts of felony level possession of child pornography, theoretically enough to land him in prison for 75 to 150 years.

Defendant Matthew Sizemore, 53, of Wakefield, alternated between rubbing his brow, looking down toward his lap and staring straight ahead, while Carroll County Superior Court Judge Steven Houran declared his finding of guilty on each of the 10 charges on Thursday, July 22. It only took Houran about 20 minutes to find Sizemore guilty on all the charges.

"Viewers of child pornography fuel the market," said Assistant County Attorney Susan Boone. "It's not a victimless crime. There are real people involved."

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. in Carroll County Superior Court. The maximum prison sentence for each charge is 15 years. However, the judge has the discretion to impose punishments that are far less severe. The case may continue on after that if Sizemore attempts to appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Sizemore chose to be tried by Judge Houran rather than a jury. Just before the trial was to begin, Sizemore's attorney, Harry Starbranch, of Jeffco and Starbranch, of Portsmouth, filed paperwork stipulating that Sizemore had the nine child pornography videos and one still image that were referenced in the indictments against him. Further, he admitted to getting the porn on a file-sharing program called Lime Wire.

At the beginning of the trial, Houran explained that although Sizemore was agreeing to certain facts, those facts wouldn't necessarily be enough to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Later, Houran ruled that the state met its burden of proof. That included proving that Sizemore knowingly possessed child pornography while not acting as a staff member of a library or movie theater engaged in the normal course of employment.

Sizemore declined to testify and said little during his entire court appearance other than answering the judges questions with "yes sir" and "no sir." At one point, Houran asked if there was any reason he would have difficulty making decisions during the trial.

Sizemore replied there wasn't other than "things being so traumatic."

He was first arrested on June 5, 2009, when members of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Carroll County Sheriff's Department, executed a search warrant and seized computers at his East Wakefield home.

Boone said the investigation showed that Sizemore accessed the images as recently as the morning the search warrant was executed.

At the time of the search, Sizemore was charged with manufacturing and possession of illegal drugs (marijuana) because police allegedly found plants growing outside. Then Sizemore was rearrested and charged on June 9, 2009 with possession of child pornography.

Boone and Sheriff's Office Capt. David Meyers couldn't comment on what prompted the search on Sizemore's computer other than to say it was the result of an "undercover operation."

The images that were found will be entered into the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's database with the hope that the children may one day be identified, said Boone and Meyers.

The marijuana charge is still pending.

Sizemore is currently free $25,000 cash bail.

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