Former Columbus police sergeant avoids prison time in child porn case

Dean Worthington - Nov. 19, 2018 (WBNS-10TV)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former public information officer with the Columbus Division of Police will avoid prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges back in November.

Dean Worthington will serve 90 days in the Franklin County Jail if he agrees to pay $5,000 fine. If the fine is not paid, Worthington will serve 180 days in jail.

Judge Mark Serrott said while the probation department recommended prison, he decided against it.

He said based on the fact Worthington has no prior convictions, none of his victims were physically harmed, he showed genuine remorse and that his ex-wife came to his defense made him a better candidate for jail.

Serrott suspended a 9-year sentence for Worthington on the condition he fulfills the judge's orders which includes no internet access and no communication with minors. In addition, Worthington must go through sex offender treatment while in jail, go through alcohol counseling, give urine screenings and must not consume alcohol.

Worthington previously pleaded guilty to four charges which involved downloading and uploading of child pornography to his personal cell phone and adding to a Tumblr blog. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said the social networking website provided a tip to law enforcement after Worthington uploaded an image of child pornography in March.

Worthington tried to explain his actions prior to the sentencing.

"I'm trying to think of a word that would describe the sorrow that I have of what I've done and the fact that I've contributed to this crime — it's indefensible — I can't believe I contributed to the victimization of those kids," he said.

Worthington must register as a Tier 2 sex offender for the next 25 years.

He resigned from the Columbus Police department in October.

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