2011-02-10 / Local & State

Calif. ‘Den Mother’ Gets 17 Years For Child Porn

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A California man who federal prosecutors say led a social networking site that enabled dozens of people to share child pornography has been sentenced to 17 years in prison by a judge in Pittsburgh.

In imposing the sentence, Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond on Monday found that 57-year-old Stephen Sims, of San Leandro, Calif., did lead the group, eight members of which were charged by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh in November 2009. Although he apologized for his actions, Sims told the judge he didn’t lead the group but acted more like its “den mother’’ or “cheerleader.’’

After he’s released from prison, Sims will be on probation for life.

A federal agent who testified Monday says Sims bragged the group had members in several foreign countries, including the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Dubai.

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