Scott R. Parker, 41, appears in Juneau Superior Court Thursday for his sentencing hearing for possesing and distributing child pornography.

Scott R. Parker, 41, appears in Juneau Superior Court Thursday for his sentencing hearing for possesing and distributing child pornography.

Youth volunteer gets 3 years for child porn

A 41-year-old Juneau man who volunteered with youth in the community was sentenced Thursday to serve three years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Judge Philip Pallenberg imposed the sentence — 14 years in prison with 11 years suspended, plus 10 years probation — for Scott R. Parker in Juneau Superior Court.

Prosecutors said law enforcement discovered hundreds of images and videos of child pornography when they searched Parker’s computers, cell phone and tablet in May 2014.

“The number of children that Mr. Parker victimized through possessing and distributing various images could fill the courtroom,” Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp told the judge Thursday.

Kemp said the material Parker viewed was nothing short of “torture” for the victims, some of whom were as young as 2 years old. Many of them are “known” victims to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and are now adults.

None of the images and videos depicted children from Juneau, and Parker’s attorney, Julie Willoughby, stressed that Parker did not create any child pornography. She said some of the images and videos have been circulating in the public domain for decades.

The Juneau Police Department began investigating Parker in April 2014 when they received a tip from the Anchorage Cybercrimes Unit, passed on from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Google Inc. had reported to the center that an email address associated with an IP address registered to Parker had uploaded images of child pornography to his Google Drive account cloud storage, according to sentencing memorandum filed by Kemp.

When confronted by police, Parker confessed and told police he had received and traded the images on social media sites such as the photo-sharing app Instagram and messenger service Kik during a span of six months.

According to the Kemp’s sentencing memo, Parker told officers that he knew he would be caught because he tried to email some of the photographs to another person online who had told Parker he lost them, and then Google shut down his account.

He also said that Instagram had shut down his accounts. When that happened he created new ones. Parker said that happened about four or five times, according to the memo.

Parker had close access to children in Juneau as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and with the Young Men’s Presidency program, both of which are sponsored activities by the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which Parker is a member. He also was the “team trainer” for the Juneau-Douglas High School football team and attended to injured players.

Ultimately, the attorneys and judge agreed that there was no evidence that Parker ever made an inappropriate advance on a minor, engaged in “grooming” behavior wherein a predator tries to establish a sexual relationship with a child, abused a child, or did anything of a “nefarious” nature.

“There’s no evidence that anything improper happened, so I can’t make any finding that Mr. Parker engaged in grooming, or that he used those activities or his volunteer work for nefarious purposes,” Judge Pallenberg said. “This would have been a very different case if I had that evidence.”

ADA Kemp questioned whether Parker purposefully volunteered with youths in Juneau to gain access to children to prey upon, which defense attorney Willoughby took issue with. Willoughby said Parker was asked to be a volunteer by his church.

“There’s just no evidence of that,” Willoughby said. “What we had was somebody who was doing right by their community, who was doing what they were asked for by their church, and now it’s being used against him. Good deeds are being used against Mr. Parker. I submit to the court that you should look at his community activities, his volunteer activities, solely as a positive thing and not as anything else.”

Evidence showed that as a Boy Scout volunteer, Parker led the troop meetings once a week with another adult volunteer, but that he had “alone time” with the boys when they split off into groups. There was also evidence that he sometimes gave teenage boy rides to and from meetings on multiple occasions. But there wasn’t any evidence of anything of an “improper nature,” the judge said.

Willoughby said Parker underwent a sex offender assessment after he was arrested, and he was determined to be a “low-risk” offender. She noted that Parker did not have any criminal history before this.

Though not related to the child porn charges, Kemp’s sentencing memo alleged Parker of other wrongdoing through his work as a mortician’s assistant at Alaskan Memorial Park and Mortuary. She wrote that he took pictures of bodies for a person online.

According to Kemp’s memo, Parker told police that “he believes he may have taken one photo of someone who was deceased and shown it to the female via Kik. He described the one image was with the person’s face exposed, but that the rest of the person was covered by a sheet. He also explained that another image he sent to the female was of a person getting ready to be cremated. The person in that image was in a body bag. He sent her an image of that person, along with the cremated remains of the person. He told (a JPD detective) … that he deleted the images.”

Parker is no longer employed by that funeral home — he said in court that he lost his job.

Parker also worked as a massage therapist (court records do not indicate which one, but Parker’s old LinkedIn profile indicated it was Alaska Health Options chiropractic clinic). Prosecutors said at one point, Parker was speaking to a person online who described herself as a 16-year-old girl and that they would trade pictures and videos of child pornography. The girl asked him to secretly record people as he massaged them as part of his job, but Parker declined.

“The defendant denied doing that,” Kemp wrote in her memo. “He explained to (JPD) that he would not be able to hold his phone while he was working on people.”

On Thursday, Parker apologized, and said he was grateful for his wife for sticking by him.

“I can’t say I’m sorry enough for what I’ve done,” he said.

Parker pled guilty to one distribution of child pornography charge and four possession charges in July 2015.

Parker will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He won’t be allowed to contact children under 18 years old, without prior permission from his probation officer, after he is released from prison.

Scott R. Parker, 41, appears in Juneau Superior Court Thursday for his sentencing hearing for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Scott R. Parker, 41, appears in Juneau Superior Court Thursday for his sentencing hearing for possessing and distributing child pornography.

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