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Forum staff reports, Published November 10 2010

Man guilty of child porn asks for lesser sentence

A Fargo man facing up to 20 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography wants a sentence on the low end of mandatory guidelines.

John D. Marquardt, 56, possessed 768 images and 152 videos depicting child porn, some of which were described as “masochistic or sadistic” in nature.

In a document filed Monday in Fargo’s U.S. District Court, Marquardt’s attorney, Mark Friese, requested the court impose a five-year sentence – the minimum mandatory required under federal law.

Receiving child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Sentencing guidelines in the case suggest Marquardt should receive a sentence of about eight to 10 years, but Friese argued the calculations used to formulate the guidelines are “arbitrary and irrational.”

Friese said a five-year sentence, followed by five years of supervised release, a $2,500 fine and a lifetime sex-offender registration, “would reflect the seriousness of the offense, provide deterrence value, protect the public, and allow for correctional treatment.”

The U.S. attorney’s office also will make a recommendation on sentencing, with District Judge Ralph R. Erickson deciding the issue at a hearing slated for Nov. 23.