TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

September 16, 2013

Woman sentenced for child porn

Wife of former Laurel business owner receives 30 years in federal prison


TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Three decades in federal prison — that’s the sentence for the wife of a former Laurel County business owner convicted of several charges related to child pornography.

Corrine C. Sherman, now 33, was convicted in federal court in London in February alongside her husband, Rickey Larry Sherman, 58, who died in July of a heart attack while in custody.

Corrine Sherman received the 30-year sentence from U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar Tuesday. The sentence was for producing child pornography, possessing child porn and conspiracy.

She will have to serve at least 85 percent of her sentence.

The investigation was launched after state law enforcement officials were tipped off that Rickey Sherman was violating the conditions of his probation from a previous offense.

Rickey Sherman owned Truck Town Repair.

Both Shermans faced a four-count federal indictment.

The first count held that in August 2008, the Shermans “aided and abetted by one another, did employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor….to engage in, and had that minor assist another person to engage in, sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, using materials that had been mailed, shipped, and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce…”

The second count charges the same thing with a different minor, also occurring in August 2008.

Count 3 charges that from May 2008 through October 2010, both Corinne Sherman and Rickey Sherman “did conspire with one another to employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce (two minors, also involved in previous counts) to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, using materials that had been mailed, shipped, and transported in interstate and foreign commerce..”

The fourth count charges that on Oct. 4, 2010, the two “did knowingly possess” the video depictions of the two minors.

The three-day trial in Thapar’s courtroom brought forth several witnesses and other evidence against the couple, according to court records.

Only two testified for the defense, one being Corinne Sherman herself, the other her mother.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Parman marked and admitted as evidence a digital camera, a memory card, a CD with images downloaded from the camera, a CD with digital formatting of the pictures, and a black binder — which contained a printed format of the photographs.

During the investigation, Corinne Sherman tried to conceal a camera from officers.

Rickey Sherman’s defense attorney was James D. Hodge. Corinne Sherman was represented by Attorney Eric S. Edwards.

During the trial, the jury learned Rickey Sherman was on probation when these latest charges were filed against him, including the fact he was not allowed to use a computer. Also that day Corinne Sherman objected to one witness’s testimony concerning her conduct toward the victims, however, it was overruled in that it further proved evidence of conspiracy. She also objected to Parman’s “leading” questions concerning that same witness, however, after a brief conference with Judge Thapar at the bench, the Court allowed Parman to lead the witness with testimony.

The second day of the trial the jury was allowed to see the physical evidence brought forth.

Jurors also heard a witness testify that Rickey Sherman “was going to make the alleged victims into porn stars,” according to court documents. The defense objected “on the grounds that the statement was more prejudicial than probative.”

The U.S. attorney argued that the testimony was necessary for the case “to establish a conspiracy to produce child pornography.” The defense’s objection was overruled.

During the trial, one of the two victims also testified from outside the courtroom through closed-circuit television. Some concerns were raised about “inconsistent” testimony from that minor person.

Defense attorneys motioned for an acquittal for both Shermans, however, those motioned were denied.

Corinne Sherman was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.