Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Wohlander said, "The defense in a case like this has a right to take a look at any information that might be relevant to the points that they want to make."
Sentencing for a Nicholasville couple each convicted of more than 100 counts involving child pornography has been delayed.
U.S. District Court Judge Karl Forester granted a defense request made Wednesday and set a May 24 sentencing date for Terry Adkins, 26, and his wife, Jane Adkins, 33. In January, Forester found both guilty of 99 counts of receiving child pornography and one count each of conspiracy to receive child pornography and possession of child pornography.
On Wednesday, Patrick Nash, the defense attorney for Terry Adkins, asked Forester to allow a computer expert to analyze the computer containing the pornography. Nash said he hopes that analysis will provide the Adkinses with evidence that might reduce their sentences.
The couple were arrested July 30, 2003, after a search by officials in Boone, Boyle, Jessamine, Mercer and Scott counties for the perpetrators of sexual assault crimes against young victims in those locations. Sketches based on descriptions given by victims led to the eventual arrest of the couple at their home in Nicholasville.
In Boyle County, a boy less than 12 years old was allegedly assaulted while playing at the Boyle County Fairgrounds July 13, 2003. In Mercer County, a 10-year-old boy was allegedly assaulted in the Mercer County Public Library the same day.
The pair was indicted in Boone and Kenton counties in connection with similar incidents, but have not been charged in Boyle and Mercer counties. U.S. Attorney Gregory van Tatenhove said it was his understanding Boone and Kenton authorities may not pursue those charges if both are found guilty in federal court. Boyle/Mercer Commonwealth's Attorney Richard Bottoms said earlier this year that charges may not be filed against the two locally if the federal sentences are severe.
Bottoms said the decision not to seek indictments against the two were based on the fact that federal charges would take precedence over local charges, coupled with the age of the victims. He added that evidence presented in the Jane Adkins trial linked her to Harrodsburg but not to Boyle County.
The government wants a 30-year-to-life sentence for both Terry and Jane Adkins. Nash and Adele Brown, Jane Adkins' attorney, are asking for a 5-to-20-year sentence.
Wohlander said the findings of a computer expert could affect the sentence either way.
"We feel the victims in this case suggest that this is a case that deserves very serious punishment," he said.
Both Jane and Terry Adkins have said through their attorneys they plan to appeal their guilty verdicts. The two remain in Fayette County Detention Center without bond.