Level 3 Sex Offender Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to 10 to 12 Years in State Prison on Child Pornography Charges
Has Previous Convictions for Assaulting Children
BOSTON – A man registered as a Level 3 Sex Offender has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 10 to 12 years in state prison for possessing and distributing images of child pornography, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Today, in Suffolk Superior Court, Mark W. Hedgecock, age 44, pleaded guilty to Dissemination of Child Pornography (3 counts) and Possession of Child Pornography.
After the plea was entered, Judge Peter M. Lauriat sentenced Hedgecock to 10 to 12 years in state prison, followed by four years of probation to serve upon his release.
Judge Lauriat also imposed the conditions that Hedgecock have no contact with children under 18, be monitored by GPS, undergo sex offender evaluation and treatment, be prohibited from using the Internet except for work-related purposes, and stay away from parks, daycares and schools or any other location where children regularly congregate, among other conditions.
“This defendant, a convicted sex offender, violated children by downloading, viewing and sharing child pornography with others,” AG Healey said. “We will continue to hold accountable those who exploit our children, whether online, in their schools, homes, or on the streets.”
Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office arrested Hedgecock on Sept. 12, 2014 in Boston.
In July 2014, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shared information with the AG’s Office about an e-mail account that was obtaining child pornography images. State Police assigned to the AG’s Office then began an investigation and linked the account to Hedgecock.
State Police obtained and executed a search warrant authorizing the search of Hedgecock’s online account for depictions of child pornography. Subsequent initial investigation of Hedgecock’s e-mail account revealed images of child pornography. Further investigation revealed that Hedgecock was sharing the images over the Internet with others.
At today’s hearing, Assistant Attorney General Allyson Portney noted Hedgecock’s previous convictions relating to assault of a child. In 2002, Hedgecock was found guilty of indecent assault and battery on a child and in 1998 he was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Allyson Portney, of AG Healey’s Cyber Crime Division. It was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and investigators from the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab.