NORMAN, Okla. - A former reserve deputy has received a 10-year probation sentence on child pornography charges.
Jonathan Hazer, 32, was sentenced Wednesday in Cleveland County court for one count of aggravated possession of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The sentence includes a suspended 10-year sentence for the aggravated count and five years for the second count, which will run concurrently.
According to court documents, Norman police found "several images of child pornography" on Hazer's iPad and laptop, which were seized in February from a Norman apartment. Hazer, who was an unpaid Cleveland County sheriff's reserve deputy from 2014 to 2016, entered a guilty plea in October.
Hazer was facing up to life for aggravated possession of child pornography and up to 20 years for possession of child pornography. The state recommended two years of prison and told us they are disappointed in the outcome.
Hazer's attorney, Sheila Shoemake, said she felt the sentence was fair.
"It fairly considers the concerns that the community has and the mitigating factors that weigh in favor of the client. My client has no priors and has been a productive member of the community. It is also a sentence designed to punish and rehabilitate the defendant in order to provide community protections. In respect to punishment, persons convicted of such crimes are required to register as a sex offender and follow rigorous rules and regulations that severely curtail their freedom," Shoemake said. "There are myriad court-ordered requirements that sex offenders must strictly comply with including registering as a sex offender, residing in restricted areas and undergoing polygraph examinations. In respect to rehabilitation and community protections, persons convicted of these crimes must receive intensive psychological treatment lasting for years. When prison is imposed, this type of treatment ceases altogether; not mandating and ensuring intensive treatment is absolutely not in the best interest of the community."
However, an advocate against child abuse said she felt the sentence was too lenient.
"Every single time an image is viewed, they need to think about it that a child is being abused," Stacy McNeiland said. "We need to look at child pornography the same as child sexual exploitation."
McNeiland is CEO of the Care Center in Oklahoma City. The organization coordinates with law enforcement, child protective services and health care professionals to provide services for child abuse victims.
McNeiland told News 4 the sentence sends the wrong message.
"It tells me there were over 100 separate different images of child pornography. Incredibly disturbing. Likely, those images will never go away, and they will circulate the dark webs or inter webs for years and years and years so every child, every image of that child continues to be re-victimized every single time it’s viewed," she said. "Many of these victims have no idea their images have been collected or if they've been collected, under terms and conditions either in a trafficking situation or molestation situation that no child should have to take part in."
As part of the sentence, Shoemake said Hazer has and will be receiving intense psychological treatment for the next three to five years.
Dr. Richard Kishur is a licensed counselor and consulted the case.
"My prospective is clinical, and that is what is likely to do the greater good for the protection of the community long-term," Kishur said.
Most of Kishur's clients are men generally with "sexual behaviors problems", he said. Many of them have been convicted of an offense. His practice provides offense-specific sexual offender treatment in a community based setting.
"Recidivism or re-offending rates for people who have completed comprehensive treatment through a recognized rigorous program is very low, lower actually than hands on behaviors," Kishur said. "He [Hazer] also would then have the benefit of changing or modifying those factors that contributed to his decision to view pornography or some isolation difficulties like lack of support."
In this case, the state will not have a chance to appeal.