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Former child advocate Robert Alfrey avoided prison 18 months ago when he was sentenced for molesting a toddler inside a northern York County Walmart. He was given a probationary sentence in part because of his age at the time — 71.

But it's less likely presiding Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner will feel as charitable toward the Fairview Township man when he sentences Alfrey in three months for possessing and sharing child pornography.

Alfrey, who turns 73 next month, remains in York County Prison on $50,000 bail for the child porn case, as well as on a probation violation for his molestation conviction, according to prison records.

Alfrey, of 534 Fishing Creek Road in Fairview Township, pleaded guilty Wednesday in York County Court to one count each of disseminating child porn and possessing it, according to court records.

It was a non-negotiated guilty plea, meaning there was no plea agreement reached with deputy prosecutor Stephen McDonald. It also means sentencing will be up to Bortner, who ordered a pre-sentence investigation that includes a sentencing recommendation be done, court records state.

Predator: McDonald on Wednesday said Alfrey is a predator, and confirmed he will ask Bortner to impose state prison time. State sentencing guidelines indicate Alfrey's standard-range minimum sentence should be a year to 18 months in state prison, the prosecutor said.

"I think these new charges show the last case wasn't confusion, it wasn't a mistake, it wasn't an isolated incident," McDonald said. "It's who he is and what he does. ... That was his defense last time — that he was confused and it was innocent touching. But he's making deliberate choices."

And the images Alfrey was downloading and sharing weren't "borderline," the prosecutor said — they were hard-core child pornography.

"He's clearly a danger (to society)," McDonald said.

Defense attorney Korey Leslie, who is representing Alfrey, declined comment until after sentencing, set for Sept. 27.

Shared images: Alfrey was on probation for the Walmart child molestation case in May 2015 when an out-of-county detective searching the internet for file-sharing of child porn found several such images, according to court documents.

The detective traced the shared images back to Alfrey's computer and notified state police, who went to Alfrey's home armed with a search warrant, documents state.

The man's computers were seized and analyzed, and a number of images of child porn were found, state police said. Alfrey told police he used search terms such as "PTHC" when downloading the illegal images, saying the initials stand for "pre-teen hard core," documents state.

Walmart incident: Police arrested Alfrey the first time after an eyewitness saw him fondling a 2-year-old girl in a shopping cart inside the Newberry Township Walmart on July 8, 2013.

Newberry Township Police Chief John Snyder said at the time that the child's mother looked away briefly a few times, providing the windows of opportunity Alfrey was looking for.

He touched the child's upper leg, then walked away. But within 20 seconds he'd returned to the child, Snyder said. Alfrey rubbed the toddler's leg again, then fondled her genitals, police said.

Another customer witnessed what was happening and yelled, alerting the child's mother and causing Alfrey to ask "What?" before walking away, according to court documents.

The child's mother followed Alfrey as he "briskly" walked to his car and drove off, and she was able to give officers his license-plate number, documents state.

"The parent did absolutely nothing wrong," he said. "Her back was turned for just a brief minute."

Caught on video: Snyder said he knows this because Walmart's surveillance video captured the incident, which he called "chilling."

"This guy walked right up to the child. ... He saw an opportunity and he took it," Snyder said. "He could have walked right out of the store with her."

Even more chilling was additional video surveillance footage from Walmart, which showed Alfrey following the child and her mother around the store before the assault happened, according to Snyder. That video showed Alfrey indecently touching the toddler in other areas of the store as well, the chief said.

A jury in October 2014 convicted Alfrey of indecent assault without consent, indecent assault of a child less than 13 years old and corruption of a minor.

Two months later, Bortner sentenced Alfrey to four years of probation, with the first nine months on house arrest. The conviction requires Alfrey to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

At the time, McDonald said the punishment was below the state's standard sentencing guideline range.

"I don't think it was appropriate for it to be a mitigated sentence," he told The York Dispatch after sentencing. "But that's up to the discretion of the judge."

Age a factor: McDonald said judges can consider almost any factor when imposing sentence, including a defendant's age.

"But if you're going to consider (a defendant's) age, you also ought to consider the victim's age," he said.

Alfrey was sworn in as a volunteer child advocate with Cumberland County's Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) on April 2, 2013, according to the program's director.

But at the time of his arrest, he had not been assigned a case, meaning he had no contact with children through the CASA program, the director said at the time.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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