By Peter H. Milliken
William “Scott” Kennedy, the former longtime Y-103 morning disc jockey who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, is facing not only prison time and a fine but also a nearly $1 million victim-restitution claim backed by the U.S. attorney.
Senior U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch will sentence Kennedy, 55, of Hermitage, Pa., at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Kennedy, who has been jailed since his May 3 guilty plea, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000, or both. Kennedy is being detained in the Beaver County, Pa., jail, pending sentencing.
Federal investigators first became aware of Kennedy in an Internet chat room, then searched his home, seized his computer and discovered the illegal files in December 2009.
The files included three videos and 238 images, including some of children under age 12.
Federal-court documents state some of this material showed minors engaged in sex acts and that the FBI was able to identify 19 victims from Kennedy’s videos and images.
Through her lawyer, one of the victims has submitted a $963,286 restitution claim in the Kennedy case, the U.S. attorney said in a recently filed court document.
That victim, now in her 20s, wrote in a victim- impact statement that the images of her being raped as a child can never be removed from the Internet.
“Every time they are downloaded, I am exploited again; my privacy is breached; and I feel less and less safe,” she wrote.
Although Kennedy is just one of many criminal defendants who have possessed this victim’s image, “His conduct is also a substantial factor in causing her continuing harm,” U.S. Atty. David J. Hickton said in a restitution brief.
Kennedy’s lawyer, James J. Ross, has filed a sentencing brief asking Judge Bloch to favorably consider Kennedy’s 37 years of employment in radio and his use of his employment “to further charitable and community causes.” “Other than his involvement in this case, the defendant has been a role model for children of his siblings, co-employees and members of the community. He has contributed greatly to charities and his community,” Ross wrote.
Ross also filed 21 letters from Kennedy’s friends, relatives, neighbors and broadcasting colleagues, two bank executives, and a former Ohio State Highway Patrol Canfield Post commander, supporting favorable consideration of Kennedy by Judge Bloch.
Ross urged the judge to consider the well-being of Kennedy’s wife, Carol, when imposing a fine.
Because Kennedy holds all but one of his assets jointly with his wife, “Imposing a substantial fine will significantly undercut the assets of defendant’s wife who had no involvement in this case,” Ross wrote.
“These are retirement assets that Mrs. Kennedy will have to rely on,” Ross concluded.
Here are excerpts from some of the letters urging Senior U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch to give favorable consideration to William “Scott” Kennedy, the former Y-103 disc jockey, when he sentences him Thursday for possessing child pornography:
“I would hope your sentence would include compassion as well as punishment. I am certain Scott is truly, deeply remorseful. ... I would ask that, if a sentence involving treatment and counseling in lieu of detention is available, that course be taken.” — Gerry Ricciutti, WKBN and WYTV news reporter.
“Now that he has tripped up for the first time in his life, I ask for your mercy in regards to this. ... This is a good and decent man.” — John Batcho, “Mr. Sports,” afternoon radio announcer, WYFM, Youngstown.
“I hope you will impose a short sentence for Scott and perhaps sentence him to community service. ... It would be a waste of resources for him to sit in a jail cell. He has the capacity to help a lot of other people” — Susan DeLeo Novak of Warren, former WFMJ-TV newscaster and now a medical- sales representative.
“Scott Kennedy is one of the most genuine, giving and caring colleagues I have ever worked with in my 33 years of law enforcement.” — Brian W, Girts of Poland, former Ohio State Highway Patrol Canfield Post commander, who worked with Kennedy on traffic safety promotions.
“Because of my knowledge about the good that is inside of Scott Kennedy and the good things he can contribute as an active member of our society, I respectfully ask for your consideration in granting some leniency as you impose a sentence on him,” — Candace D. Sizer, vice president and Hermitage, Pa., branch manager, First National Bank of Pennsylvania, who has known Kennedy for 41 years.
“He has been publicly humiliated and must live with this for the rest of his life. I respectfully request the court to consider some leniency,” — Paul M. Tomko of Hermitage, Pa., senior vice president for commercial banking, NexTier Bank, and a classmate of Kennedy’s in the Sharon High School class of 1973.
Source: Testimonial letters filed with U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh