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A Fairview Township man who avoided prison after being convicted of molesting a toddler in a local Wal-Mart in 2014 won't have the same good fortune after pleading guilty to charges that he shared child pornography.

But Robert Alfrey, who's 73, could be out in less than a year, according to court records.

Judge Michael E. Bortner on Tuesday sentenced Alfrey to 1½ to three years in state prison for that offense and also two to four years, to be served at the same time, because this happened while he was on probation for the previous child-molestation offense, said York County district attorney spokesman Kyle King.

Alfrey will get credit for the 420 days he has spent in York County Prison since his Aug. 5, 2015, arrest, so he could spend less than 11 months behind bars, according to online court records.

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

His attorney, Korey Leslie, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Background: Alfrey was on probation for the Wal-Mart 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.

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 Wal-Mart 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," Snyder said. "Her back was turned for just a brief minute."

Caught on video: Snyder said he knows this because Wal-Mart'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 Wal-Mart, 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. He was given a sentence on the lower end of the sentencing spectrum in part because of his age.

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.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him at scotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @SPCotterYD.

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