Man pleads guilty to possessing child pornography in court on Tuesday

Published 12:44 pm Saturday, October 16, 2010

A 19-year-old Albert Lea man charged with possessing child pornography on his cell phone pleaded guilty in Freeborn County District Court on Tuesday to his charge.

Richard Ferguson

Richard Alan Ferguson entered the plea with his public defender Stephen Erickson as part of a plea agreement with the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office.

The agreement states Ferguson pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography possession in exchange for having the charge be reduced from a felony to a gross misdemeanor.

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The agreement also states Ferguson will serve no executed jail time and that he may withdraw his plea if the court does not accept it at the time of sentencing.

According to court records, police found more than five images of child pornography on Ferguson’s cell phone.

Ferguson reportedly told police he had taken the photos from a computer screen at the Albert Lea Public Library while he was on the social networking website, reports state. He stated he did not remember whose page he was on when he saw the pictures posted, but he photographed them with his phone.

Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab ordered a pre-sentence investigation be conducted.

Ferguson is scheduled to be sentenced at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 6.

Possession of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.