Crime

Former Penn State student sentenced in child pornography case

A former Penn State student charged with possession of child pornography was sentenced to probation Tuesday.

Ian Z. Shulman, 23, was a student when he was charged with 53 felony counts of possession of child pornography in 2013, according to court documents. He was charged through the state Office of Attorney General after an investigation that started in January of that year.

Shulman withdrew from Penn State and has lived with his parents in New Jersey since the spring of 2013, documents said.

He pleaded guilty to one count of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of dissemination of explicit sexual material in March 2017, documents said. A psychiatric report included in the documents indicated that Shulman “was not a pedophile and his risk of another sexual crime was remote to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.”

The report also states that based on the diagnosis that he “suffers Asperger’s syndrome and his immaturity, he would be at risk in a prison environment ... with individuals more physically powerful and more socially adept than himself and could be easily victimized.”

Shulman’s attorney, Joseph Amendola, said at the sentencing that his client was a unique case, and given his lack of criminal history, probation would be an appropriate sentence. A representative of the attorney general’s office agreed.

Shulman was sentenced at the Centre County Courthouse by President Judge Thomas Kistler to three years probation on the count of criminal use of a communication facility, as well as a $250 fine and five days of community service. He is to have no contact with or be in a direct supervisor role for any children younger than 18.

He was sentenced by Kistler to one year probation concurrent with the first sentence on the dissemination charge. No additional fines or community service were added. He must also complete a sexual offender assessment and treatment program.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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