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Forum staff reports, Published September 18 2009

Man receives 30-year prison term in child porn case

FARGO - A Drayton, N.D., man must serve 30 years in prison and spend the rest of his life under supervision for possessing and producing child pornography.

Laurence Pelletier Jr., 31, received the maximum penalty today during a hearing in Fargo’s U.S. District Court. He pleaded guilty to the charges in May.

Authorities said the discovery of a photograph of a nude girl in a bathtub prompted them to investigate Pelletier and search his home, where they found a camera and two computers containing child pornography.

Investigators were able to link Pelletier to a picture showing an adult male sodomizing a 15-month-old boy.

“It’s as egregious as I’ve ever prosecuted,” said prosecutor Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl. “It’s particularly heinous because of the child’s age.”

Pelletier’s attorney argued for the minimum 15-year-old prison term, in part because Pelletier accepted responsibility.

After Pelletier’s prison term, he will be subject to lifetime supervised release.