Joel Dennard
Joel Dennard

A West York man currently locked up for trying to have sex with two girls has avoided additional prison time for possessing child pornography.

Joel K. Dennard, 32, formerly of the 1400 block of West Philadelphia Street, was sentenced Thursday to five years of probation. He appeared in court via teleconference from state prison, according to senior deputy prosecutor Seth Bortner.

Dennard pleaded guilty Oct. 19 to possessing child pornography as part of a negotiated agreement with prosecutors.

In a related case, he is serving a sentence of three to six years in state prison for arranging with a woman to have sex with her two daughters, ages 12 and 13, at a Harrisburg-area motel, officials said.

But the "mother" is actually an agent with the state's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, officials said, and Dennard was arrested after showing up at the motel.

He pleaded guilty Jan. 11, 2011, in Dauphin County Court to numerous charges, including attempted rape.

Computer seized: In May, West York Police -- alerted by task-force members -- obtained a search warrant and seized Dennard's home computer.

A forensic analysis found child pornography stored on the computer's hard drive, police said.

The York County charges resulted from the case in Dauphin County, according to Bortner.

Defense attorney George Matangos said the convictions aren't indicative of the kind of person Dennard is.

"He's not only very remorseful, he's actually very glad he's been able to address these things and speak openly about them with his family and his girlfriend, who's been very supportive," Matangos said. "He's taken full responsibility and addressed the issue straightforwardly. He's proceeding with counseling and involving himself in as much treatment (as he can)."

Once released from prison, Dennard will have to register with state police as a sexual offender for 10 years, according to Bortner.

-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at levans@yorkdispatch.com, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.