Adam Jones Plea and setencing

Adam Jones is led into a Carroll County Superior Court room on Jan. 10 for a plea-and-sentencing hearing on a variety of sex charges. (DAYMOND STEER PHOTO)

OSSIPEE — A former teacher's aide at Kennett High School was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of crimes including manufacturing and distribution of child pornography.

Adam Jones, 41, formerly of North Conway, was before Carroll County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius on Friday afternoon for a plea-and-sentencing hearing. Of the 30 or so charges he was facing, 20 were to be dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Jones was arrested Jan. 2, 2019, as a result of a police investigation into possession of sexually explicit images and videos involving children and charged with two counts of possessing child pornography. After his initial court appearance the next day, he was released on personal recognizance. A day after that, Jones was rearrested on additional charges and the second time, bail was denied. He has been in custody ever since.

At sentencing, Jones was represented by public defender Jennifer Chenu. The state was represented by Deputy Carroll County Attorney Steve Briden.

Ignatius said the sentence was “complicated,” apparently because of the way some sentences overlapped and the mix of imposed and suspended time. She asked Briden to total up the years being asked for.

The deputy county attorney asked for an 18-40-year prison sentence but said three years could be taken off the minimum (18 years) if Jones completed sex-offender treatment. But if he fails to be of good behavior for 20 years, another 18-37 years of suspended incarceration will be hanging over Jones’ head.

Jones will have to register as a sex offender upon release.

“I find that this sentence is appropriate,” said Ignatius after reading the 10 charges and accepting a plea of guilty on each.

“All of these are serious charges,” she told Jones. “They are felony charges. They have tremendous consequences to you in terms of the sentences, to the individuals involved in terms of the conduct. They are serious and long sentences, and they also reflect that you, from the start, have been very willing to take responsibly for your decisions and your conduct.”

Before the sentence was imposed, Briden gave a brief overview of the case, saying the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce provided Conway police with a tip that someone in Conway was sharing child porn images on a blogging social-networking website called Tumblr.

A search warrant was issued for his residence. Jones, who was found during a traffic stop, agreed to a police interview.

“Mr. Jones admitted to possessing a number of images of child pornography,” said Briden, adding they were on the Tumblr account. “He also admitted to sharing images. ... He also admitted to the creation of child pornography with some clandestine cameras that he used to record a certain individual and then those images were shared via Tumblr.”

Briden said Jones admitted to two counts of sexual assault in Conway at a hotel and this was confirmed by interviewing the minor victim.

“The defendant also admitted to using Instagram to try to solicit nude images,” said Briden. “He posed as a girl on the website Instagram and solicited images.”

Ignatius asked Jones if what Briden said was accurate, and he replied “yes.”

Asked by the judge if he was on any substances, Jones said he was being treated for depression with Celexa (an antidepressant) and counseling at Carroll County Jail.

Jones said he’s been off Adderall (used to treat hyperactivity) since he has been incarcerated.

Ignatius found that Jones was able to understand was able to make “knowing, intelligence and voluntary” guilty pleas.

In all, Jones pleaded guilty to three counts of manufacturing child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography, two counts of distribution of child pornography, two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and misuse of a computer.

Briden said that Jones admitted to sexual assaults in New York, but authorities there agreed not to prosecute as long as Ignatius approved the plea deal before her, which she did.

Jones will be eligible for parole in 2037 unless he reduces his sentence through completion of programming, Briden said.

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