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Man gets 14-year term in child-porn case

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | March 4, 2021 at 3:36 a.m.

A Clay County man who pleaded guilty in October to a federal charge of distributing child pornography was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in federal prison.

Michael Vierling of Piggott admitted to U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright that in August 2018, he distributed images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Because of the admission, federal prosecutors dropped two additional counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

In addition to the 14-year sentence, Wright sentenced Vierling to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $9,000 in restitution and a $100 special assessment.

According to Vierling's plea agreement, he faced numerous enhancements because the offense involved at least 600 images, because it portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct, because it involved a child younger than 12 and because he distributed the images in exchange for valuable consideration of something not specified, but not for pecuniary gain.

Also, as part of the plea agreement, Vierling is required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

He was taken into custody immediately upon sentencing by the U.S. Marshals Service, according to court records.

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