DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – For a second time, a Detroit federal judge has refused to send a man to prison for possessing thousands of images of child pornography.

A federal appeals court last year had ordered Judge Arthur Tarnow to sentence Robinson again, saying a punishment with no prison didn’t reflect the seriousness of the crime. The images showed bondage and torture.

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Rufus Robinson returned to court Thursday and was placed on probation for several more years. Prosecutors had asked for a three-year prison sentence.

WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton noted there are several factors that come into play when a judge determines sentencing.

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“In any criminal case the judge has the option of sending someone to prison or getting someone help … in this case the judge believed that Mr. Robinson is not a threat to society, he has some sort of a mental problem and he demonstrated his remorse for the crime,” said Langton. “In the judge’s view he doesn’t need prison – prison only serves to punish. Mental problem and they show remorse, those are two good reasons not to send somebody to prison.”

Defense attorney Kim Stout says Robinson is very remorseful and that prison doesn’t fit the case. She says he’s been suicidal and homeless.


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