Crime

Christopher Lee sentenced in child porn case

Former Harris Township supervisor Christopher Lee was sentenced to 18 years behind bars. Lee was found guilty in March on charges of possessing, receiving and producing child pornography as well as obstructing justice.
Former Harris Township supervisor Christopher Lee was sentenced to 18 years behind bars. Lee was found guilty in March on charges of possessing, receiving and producing child pornography as well as obstructing justice. Centre Daily Times, file

Christopher Lee will spend 18 years behind bars.

The former Harris Township supervisor is a descendant of Christopher Columbus. On the day after Columbus Day, he stood wearing an orange prison jumpsuit in front of a federal judge who delivered the sentence for Lee’s child pornography conviction.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann did not give either side what it requested.

Lee’s attorney Kyle Rude had asked the court for a 15-year sentence. Prosecutors wanted 25 years.

Lee was found guilty in March on charges of possessing, receiving and producing child pornography as well as obstructing justice.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lee’s pornography depicted children younger than 12.

The obstruction charges stemmed from attempts to have a cousin remotely wipe data from Lee’s cellular phone in the possession of the FBI after his October 2014 arrest. The jury heard evidence of “multiple recorded phone calls” where Lee tried to have the evidence disrupted after he was in custody.

Lee still faces charges of coercion and transportation of minors for purposes of sexual activity. His attorney had those charges severed from the pornography and obstruction counts, arguing that hearing evidence on those counts could unfairly prejudice the jury on the others.

Brann gave Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith A. Taylor 30 days to decide whether to go to trial on the remaining charges.

Taylor, who called Lee a monster and a con man, said she needed to speak with the victims and her superiors before making that decision.

Lee is facing a harsher penalty than the last time he was in criminal court. In 2005, he was charged with indecent assault regarding two minors who stayed overnight at the Boal Mansion. Lee is the former CEO of Boal Mansion and Columbus Chapel, his ancestral home.

Lee received an accelerated rehabilitative disposition deal in 2006 from then-Centre County district attorney Michael Madeira, signed off by former judge Bradley Lunsford, who retired earlier this year.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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