On October 27, 2014, Judge David L. Ashworth sentenced seventy-three year old James Franklin Sellard to a mandatory life imprisonment on each of the two felony three counts of child pornography. At sentencing, the court then noted a Sentencing Memorandum that had been previously filed by the Office of the District Attorney of Lancaster County, setting forth details about Sellard’s prior convictions for sexual offenses. In the Sentencing Memorandum, the Commonwealth had requested that the Court sentence Sellard to a life sentence under Title 42 section 9718.2. This law requires the court to sentence a Defendant to a life sentence if the Commonwealth proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a Defendant has two or more prior Megan’s Law offenses. In the Sellard case, the court concluded the Commonwealth had proven by a preponderance of the evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt that Sellard had been previously convicted of two or more prior sexual offenses under Megan’s Law. Accordingly, the Court sentenced the Defendant to the following:
Count 1: Life imprisonment, pay costs
Count 2. Life imprisonment, pay costs
On August 1, 2014, Sellard was found guilty of two counts of possessing child pornography after a trial before the Honorable David L. Ashworth. In this case, the Lancaster County Computer Crimes Task Force conducted a proactive online investigation targeting online predators sharing child pornography and encountered Sellard.
The Commonwealth was represented by ADA Janie A. Swinehart. The Defendant was represented by defense counsel Jeffrey Conrad.