Steven Gerstenfeld – Ex- Tennis Coach – Now Typical Sick Twist

A U.S. District judge has sentenced former University of Richmond men’s tennis coach Steven Gerstenfeld to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to attempted receipt of child pornography.

The sentence handed down Wednesday by Judge Henry E. Hudson was the mandatory minimum. Gerstenfeld, 48, faced a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for having several hundred images on his computer, court documents show.

“I think Mr. Gerstenfeld is resolute,” said Debra Corcoran, his attorney. “We reached a favorable agreement. He’s ready to accept the punishment. He lost his wife. He lost the lost the possibility of adopting a child. He lost his career. He lost everything.”

Gerstenfeld and his wife were in the process of adopting a child from China when he was charged, halting the effort and prompting his wife to leave him.

About 30 family and friends gathered in court on Wednesday to show support, and he spent about an hour with them before self-reporting to a U.S. Marshal, Corcoran said. He will serve his sentence at Fort Devens in Massachusetts, a low-security federal prison.

Corcoran said that sentencing guidelines for child pornography crimes were not “based in reality,” particularly because people such as Gerstenfeld are considered “non-contact defenders,” meaning he didn’t willfully download the images to his computer, but were recorded and stored by his Internet browser.

Gerstenfeld used a PayPal account from October 2006 to March 2007 to subscribe to at least six member-restricted Web sites that were distributing child pornography, a federal investigation found.

“He was not aware of what was on his Internet browser, and he didn’t try to delete anything,” Corcoran said. “This is truly a tragic case. I think he is being very dignified, and I think he is handling it very well.”

Gerstenfeld used a PayPal account from October 2006 to March 2007 to subscribe to at least six member-restricted Web sites that were distributing child pornography, a federal investigation found.

In court papers, Corcoran said Gerstenfeld does not have a sexual interest in children, but is addicted to pornography. He has since sought treatment and will continue to receive it while in prison.

Gerstenfeld used a PayPal account from October 2006 to March 2007 to subscribe to at least six member-restricted Web sites that were distributing child pornography, a federal investigation found.

“A long prison sentence can not make him feel more shameful or guilty than a shorter term,” Corcoran argued in court documents. “More prison time is not necessary to deter him from committing the act he is charged with again.”

Gerstenfeld used a PayPal account from October 2006 to March 2007 to subscribe to at least six member-restricted Web sites that were distributing child pornography, a federal investigation found.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. District Court in Richmond, said prosecuting attorneys would not comment beyond what was written in court filings.

A federal grand jury indicted Gerstenfeld on Sept. 16 on one count of knowingly receiving child pornography. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 25 on a charge of attempted receipt of child pornography as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Gerstenfeld used a PayPal account from October 2006 to March 2007 to subscribe to at least six member-restricted Web sites that were distributing child pornography, a federal investigation found.

An April 2006 operation from federal investigators of Immigration and Customs Enforcement determined a single organization was operating multiple child pornography Web sites. Users would pay for access to child pornography images, typically using PayPal, after which a username and password were sent, authorities said. Gerstenfeld provided his university e-mail address for the accounts.

On Oct. 23, 2007, federal authorities and officers from the University of Richmond Police Department confiscated Gerstenfeld’s computer, resulting in the charges and his resignation as men’s tennis coach. Athletics officials announced his replacement, Billy Boykin, on July 31.

Gerstenfeld came to Richmond in 1990 and earned a 230-174 record before his resignation. His teams won four Atlantic 10 Championships, three Colonial Athletic Association titles and played in the NCAA Tournament four times. In 2002, 2004 and 2006, he was honored as the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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