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A 78-year-old West Manheim Township man caught possessing child pornography three times in less than a decade is heading back to state prison.

Claude Rainal Salois told officers he views child porn to "pass the time" and said it "doesn't hurt anybody," according to court documents.

"I don't see what the problem is," he told police when he was arrested.

Salois appeared in York County Court on Monday, July 23, where he was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison and given 255 days' credit for time he's already served.

The sentence was part of his negotiated plea agreement.

A state sex-offender evaluation determined he is not a sexually violent predator, according to court records.

Salois, of the first block of Misty Court, pleaded guilty April 10 to possessing child pornography, disseminating child pornography and using a computer to commit the first two offenses.

The background: When West Manheim Township Police raided Salois' home on Oct. 23, 2017, they found numerous photos of naked children in a room with a sign on the door reading "private office, keep out," according to court documents.

Some of the photos were taped to the wall of his private office. Officers found other child pornography in the office as well, documents state.

West Manheim Township Police officers were alerted to Salois' recidivism by an Adams County detective who is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The detective said he became aware of Salois while searching online for people who share child porn, documents state.

Between Oct. 17 and 18, the detective tracked a 13½-minute video to Salois' computer that shows prepubescent children having sex, documents state.

Third child-porn arrest: It's the third time Salois has been arrested for possessing child porn and the fourth time he's been arrested overall by West Manheim police.

He was first arrested in March 2009 after employees at Flexitech Computers on Baltimore Pike alerted police to images of child porn they found on a computer Salois took there to be serviced.

As police were executing a search warrant at Salois' home the same day, he drove up, and officers found a loaded handgun, for which Salois had no carry permit, in his vehicle, police said.

Salois was charged and later released on $100,000 bail.

Blamed workers: But he was arrested again May 29, 2009, after walking into Flexitech Computers and saying they were responsible for his computers being taken away and for causing him to spend two weeks in jail, according to police.

In December 2009, Salois pleaded guilty to five all-encompassing counts of possessing child pornography and one count of firearms not to be carried without a license.

He was sentenced to a year minus a day in York County Prison.

Then, probation officers doing an unannounced "home check" in February 2012 found he had access to the internet, which violated one of his probation conditions.

His computer was seized, and child porn was found on it.

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'Makes no sense': Salois again pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one to two years in state prison. However, he served nearly all of his minimum sentence in York County Prison as his case made its way through court.

At the time of Salois' arrest, West Manheim Township Police Chief Tim Hippensteel — who recently retired — has said it "makes no sense" that in Pennsylvania, possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony.

It's the same felony grading third-time shoplifters face.

"Clearly Salois hasn't been deterred by his two prior arrests and prison sentences," Hippensteel said in October. "I find this case a textbook example for mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses."

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

 

 

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