Two years after his indictment, a Madison Twp. man pleaded guilty today to 16 counts of child pornography after being initially charged with 101 counts, and he was sentenced to more than three decades in prison. It was a case Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones called “one of the worst cases of child pornography investigated" by his agency.
Trevor Fraley, 26, of Dickey Road, was scheduled to go to trial in August in Butler County Common Pleas Court, but that trial was canceled and a plea and sentencing hearing was held Tuesday.
Fraley, of Dickey Road, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a child, and Judge Michael Oster Jr. sentenced him to 31 to 35 years in prison. He faced a maximum of 76 to 80 years.
As part of the plea agreement, the remaining 85 counts were dismissed.
Fraley was indicted in November 2019 on multiple counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a child and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. He has been free on bond awaiting litigation of the case.
Before sentencing, Fraley read a statement telling the judge he was addicted to methamphetamine at the time the crimes were committed, but is now sober and ashamed of his behavior.
He thanked God, and even the Butler County Sheriff’s Office who arrested him, because he is no longer addicted to drugs.
“There is no way a sober me would do something like this,” Fraley said. “Words can not explain how sorry and ashamed I am of my actions while an addict.”
David Fraley, Trevor’s father, cried as he talked about his son’s difficulties caused by his parents' separation and an injury he suffered while participating in school athletics.
“He got introduced to drugs and it became a very serious problem,” David Fraley said. After getting out of jail, Trevor went to work at his father’s business, where he was dedicated and excelled, David Fraley said.
In addition, Trevor has remained sober and is attending church, David Fraley said.
Defense attorney Chris Pagan pointed to Fraley’s positive behavior since his arrest.
“He committed his crimes in a haze of addiction that he been able to come out of. Not an excuse, but it is mitigation,” Pagan said.
Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile read in detail the description of sex acts involving pre-pubescent children depicted on videos found in Fraley’s possession. In some cases, it was noted the children were crying and trying to get away while being abused by the adults.
Oster said pornography involving minors is not a victimless crime and even the consumption keeps that enterprise of exploiting children moving forward.
“I don’t know if abhorrent is a strong enough word for what is depicted,” the judge said. But he noted the sentence must also be about balance, noting Fraley’s guilty plea, lack of previous criminal history and behavior since his arrest.
A computer believed to belong to Fraley contained “a very large amount of child pornography — over 1,200 videos depicting children engaged in sexual activity, much of which has been duplicated by defendant’s backing up the videos from his phone to his computer,” Heile said in court documents.