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Fine Points of the Law

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Richard Balsavage, 28, pleaded guilty in Berks County, Pa., in 2005 to taking pornographic photos of a toddler and was sentenced to nine to 23 months in jail, which he served, but while still on probation, he continued to possess child pornography and was re-sentenced by a different judge, to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison. Balsavage then asked that judge for a re-sentencing, pointing out that he had not been given a fair opportunity to express remorse in court, and the judge relented. Balsavage then made a sorrowful apology, but it went for naught because the judge had subsequently learned that during therapy sessions, Balsavage had confessed to a history of abuse of young children. If Balsavage had not demanded re-sentencing, he might have been out in 3 1/2 years, but his new term was set at 24 1/2 to 49 years.

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