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Hammond man pleads guilty to having child porn

Updated: December 22, 2012 6:27AM



A Hammond man pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to one count of possessing child pornography.

Whether his prison time could possibly double depends, however, on whether U.S. District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen agrees with federal prosecutors that Jon W. Zondor has committed a similar offense before.

Zondor, 70, admitted without a plea agreement in place to Van Bokkelen that he had some sexual images of children younger than 18. The charge normally comes with a maximum of 10 years in prison. However, defendants who have been convicted of other sexual charges previously can face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison with a maximum of 20 years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster said the government does have evidence that Zondor was convicted of a similar charge in Illinois and that she did intend to pursue the heightened sentence.

Zondor’s attorney, Kerry Connor, disputed that, however. Van Bokkelen won’t rule on the issue until Zondor’s sentencing hearing, set for Feb. 15.

The two sides also disagreed about how many images Zondor possessed when he was arrested a year ago. Koster said officials found more than 9,000 child pornography pictures and about 250 videos. Connor said her client did not agree with that number.

Zondor was arrested in October 2011 after a woman reported her son found the child pornography on his computer. The FBI searched his house after seeing the images on the computer, which the son had stolen, and found more in the house. Zondor told them at the time that his interest in the images hadn’t developed until he was older and that he was interested in their artistic value, Koster said during the court hearing Tuesday.



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