Morgan County – On March 06, 2023 the Morgan County Common Pleas Court came into session with the Honorable Judge John Wells presiding and Prosecutor Mark Howdyshell representing the State. Defendant Robert Maxwell, 53 years old of McConnelsville, Ohio was sentenced after pleading guilty to (5) counts of 2nd degree Felony Pandering Obscenities involving a Minor.
Prosecutor Howdyshell addressed the court first and reminded it of the seriousness and ugliness of this case involving pictures/videos of a prepubescent (less than 10 years of age) child. The Defense Counsel then spoke and presented mitigation on the Defendants behalf. The Court addressed the Defendant personally then provided a period for the Defendant to speak on his own behalf, to which he stated he had “Long Covid” during this time in question and had no recollection of the photo/videos although he still wished to plead guilty. Judge Wells then handed down his sentence. Mr. Maxwell’s aggregate sentence is a minimum of 7 years to a maximum of 10.5 years in a State Correctional Facility with a 12-day jail time credit given.
Sheriff Douglas McGrath commends the work of the Investigative Agents of the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and the Morgan County Prosecutors Office. He adds, “We have a terrible evil amongst us, it takes solid police work and cooperation with all local and adjoining law enforcement agencies to battle this issue. In the past year we have been able to uncover and directly attack many of these. God willing, we will be able to stay steadfast and, in the fight, to keep our kids safe from these inexcusable crimes.”