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Former youth instructor gets 14 years for child porn

ALEXANDRIA—James Douglas Manring, a former fixture in the Fredericksburg region for his involvement with youth, was sentenced Friday to serve 14 years in federal prison.

U.S District Judge Claude M. Hilton gave him the minimum sentence possible under federal sentencing guidelines.

Manring, 54, appeared in court in a green prison jumpsuit, his graying, wavy hair down below his shoulders.

“Words are not enough to express the amount of shame, remorse,” he told the judge during a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes. “Words cannot express the amount of frustration I have for myself about poor decisions, poor actions in the past.”

In January, Manring pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of producing child pornography and had faced between 10 and 20 years in prison on each charge.

Hilton gave him 14 years on both charges but ordered the time served concurrently. He also ordered him to be under supervision for three years after release and to register as a sex offender. He is to undergo treatment or monitoring in a sex offender treatment program required by the probation department and to have his computer use monitored.

Prosecutors had recommended that Manring receive a 17-year sentence, consistent with the high end of sentencing guidelines, saying it would provide “punishment, deterrence and protection of the public.”

The defense had asked for the 10-year minimum, noting that he would be 64 years old by the time of his release and that the men in his family have a history of dying in their 60s.

Manring lived in southern Stafford County from 2000 until his arrest in November. He has been held in federal custody since then.

He came to the attention of federal authorities as part of a U.S. Postal Service investigation related to mailing materials involving sexual exploitation of children, a federal affidavit states.

Between April 2010 and February 2011, he purchased about 46 videos depicting the genitals and pubic areas of minor boys, according to prosecution documents filed in federal court. Those videos were mailed to his Stafford home.

However, his charges involve videos he produced between 1996 and 1999 while working at a preschool in Japan, court records state.

The videos, seized during a search of his Stafford home, show Manring sexually abusing at least five boys and two girls, according to court records. Those seven children were among at least 10 he videotaped playing naked.

The children in the videos were believed to be about 5 years old, according to the sentencing recommendation filed in court by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia J. Yass.

Yass said Friday that investigators have not yet been able to identify the victims but that they would all have suffered lifelong harm psychologically. She reserved the right to return to court within 90 days if they can be located and wish to seek restitution.

In her written sentencing recommendation, Yass said Manring “needs to be kept away from children” because his actions were “not an isolated incident” and that he “exploited his position of authority and trust as a teacher to sexually abuse the very young children in his care, and to produce his child pornography covertly.”

She noted that he continued teaching children from the time of his crimes until his arrest.

After returning to America, Manring worked at Fredericksburg-area preschools, taught private music lessons to children at his home and at local businesses, and was active in martial arts at a North Stafford facility.

However, a federal investigator said earlier this year she found no videos in Manring’s house that depicted abuse of any children from the Fredericksburg area.

Defense Attorney Dickson J. Young of Fairfax submitted eight letters from Manring’s supporters. Those came from his younger brother, two older sisters, his sister-in-law, friends and parents of former students.

His family expressed shock over the charges, concern for his safety in prison and suggested he suffers from a mental illness.

Young noted that Manring is 5 feet tall and 110 pounds and grew up being teased because of his size.

Joseph J. Kane, owner of BANG! Music in North Stafford, wrote a 3-page typed letter that he and his wife, Maryann, signed in support of Manring.

Kane said the family has known Manring for 30 years, that he was an “honorary uncle” to their two sons and that neither boy was harmed.

Kane said he was shocked by the charges and that Manring told him “he felt controlled by the allure of something he despised.”

Manring “held no compromised view of morality regarding pedophilia. He said it was wrong and he knows it harms the innocent,” Kane wrote.

Kane and Manring’s family asked that he serve his sentence where he could get mental health treatment.

Young argued for that in his written recommendation to the court.

He suggested that “with extremely close monitoring and supervision, and participation in the right kind of treatment, Doug Manring’s risk for recidivism is very low.”

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972

pgould@freelancestar.com

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2013/05/24/former-youth-instructor-gets-14-years-for-child-porn/

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