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Judge to Reconsider Nazareth Man's Child Porn Sentence

Christopher Rothrock, 46, has asked a Northampton County judge to reconsider the sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

A 46-year-old Nazareth man has asked a Northampton County judge to reconsider his sentence on allegations that he contacted a 12-year-old girl 25 times through explicit text messages and asked her to send him photos of herself.

Christopher Rothrock pleaded guilty in Northampton County Court Sept. 7 to one count of criminal solicitation-corruption of minors and five counts of child pornography. He had been facing the criminal solicitation charge, a charge of corruption of minors, and 100 counts of child pornography.

According to court records, Judge Stephen Baratta sentenced Rothrock to:

  • Criminal solicitation-corruption of minors (confinement)
    Minimum, 3 months
    Maximum, 12 months
  • Child Pornography (confinement)
    Minimum, 9 months
    Maximum, 36 months
  • Child Pornography (confinement)
    Minimum, 9 months
    Maximum, 36 months
  • Child Pornography (probation)
    Maximum, 7 years
  • Child Pornography (probation)
    Maximum, 7 years
  • Child Pornography (probation)
    Maximum, 7 years

A reconsideration hearing in Northampton County Court is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 1, court records say.

Under Rothrock's guilty plea, the criminal solicitation charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, the corruption of minors charge -- also a first-degree misdemeanor -- was withdrawn, and the five counts of child pornography are third-degree felonies. The original 100 counts of child pornography were second-degree felonies.

At Rothrock’s preliminary hearing in April 2012, authorities said he faced up to 20 years in prison and a maximum of $45,000 in fines.

The child pornography charges come from the reported discovery of several video files and thousands of image files depicting child pornography on several electronic devices in Rothrock's possession, according to court papers.

When he was charged in January 2012, Rothrock was living on the 300 block of Belvidere Street in Nazareth with his girlfriend and her daughter. A Patch story about his April preliminary hearing said he was currently residing in Hellertown.

Court records provide the following background:

--The parents of the 12-year-old girl contacted Nazareth Police Officer Jacob Abel on Feb. 14, 2011 when they found inappropriate text messages on their daughter’s cell phone. The messages were sent the day before.

--The girl’s father also called Rothrock on Feb. 14, and Rothrock allegedly told him that “it [text messaging] got out of control” and “he got over excited.”

--Abel found that Rothrock had contacted the juvenile 25 times through text and picture messaging. Two of the text messages said, “I would keep you warm and cozy” and “I would reach under the covers and rub you all over.”

--Rothrock also asked the girl to send him pictures of her exposed stomach area.

--The district attorney’s office examined Rothrock’s cell phone – obtained through a search warrant – and found two deleted pictures of the girl but did not recover any text messages.

--But county Det. Barry Golazeski was able to see that Rothrock searched – using his Smartphone – for “preteen nude girls” and “10 & 12 yo nude girls.”

--Rothrock’s home computer and related items – obtained with another search warrant – yielded several video files and thousands of image files depicting child pornography.

--On Jan. 11, 2012, Rothrock admitted he possessed child pornography. But the court records did not say if he admitted to text messaging the girl.

Gibbs February 28, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Unbelievable people serve more time for animal abuse then for child pornography and sexually phone molesting a child. Our justice system is f** ked up.

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