Mogul Gets 30 Years
Robert L. Hedrick was convicted May 21 of distribution and possession of child pornography, transfer of obscene materials to a minor and attempted sexual exploitation of children. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen sentenced Hedrick Wednesday in federal court in Brownsville, Texas.
The 61-year-old founder of Pan American Airways was arrested last year after undercover authorities in Wisconsin and Louisiana traced sexually explicit chat-room exchanges to an online account registered to him. Investigators said they later found 2,400 pornographic images saved on three hard drives in his home.
Hedrick has maintained his innocence.
"I can't ask the court for anything," Hedrick said Wednesday, according to the Brownsville Herald. "I was framed. I didn't do what I was charged and convicted of."
Prosecutors presented evidence at trial tying Hedrick to the chats with undercover officers posing as 13- and 14-year-old girls. Defense attorneys denied it was Hedrick at the keyboard, trying to use the Internet's thin veil of anonymity to raise doubts among jurors, and claimed he had a long list of enemies with the motivation and money to set him up.
Read more: mercurynews