History of ‘bizarre’ sexual behavior results in up to 23 months in prison for former NCC staff member | Regional News from Lehigh Valley
EASTON, Pennsylvania | When a former Northampton Community College staff member was caught viewing child pornography in his office, it was the first time his secret had been revealed, not the first time he had exhibited “sexual behavior bizarre and inappropriate, “according to a Northampton County judge.
Alan West admits to viewing child pornography for a decade before his arrest and taking pictures of unsuspecting women, Northampton County Judge Stephen Baratta has said.
“I am amazed you weren’t arrested before this,” he said.
On Wednesday, Baratta sentenced West to 10 to 23 months in Northampton County Jail, followed by 48 months probation. The 63-year-old pleaded guilty in February to a single count of child pornography.
In February 2020, two students visiting West’s office reported seeing what appeared to be a photo of a naked girl on his computer as he feverishly tried to shut the screen. West, a part-time assistant in the arts department, initially denied viewing child pornography, but later admitted to the college’s director of public safety that investigators would find child pornography on his work computer.
Before imposing the sentence, the judge reviewed a pre-sentence report and decided whether a county or state jail sentence was appropriate. West had no criminal record and there is no evidence that he physically harmed any children, the judge said.
But he readily admitted to having a history of illegal behavior while viewing child pornography for around 10 years, Baratta said. West also admitted to engaging in voyeuristic behavior by secretly photographing women, including taking “skirts up” and masturbating in public, according to the judge.
Defense attorney Michael Stump has said he does not view his client as a danger to society. He’s been sober and been receiving counseling for about a month after his arrest, and he’s been open and honest with his counselor and probation officers about his sexual addictions, Stump said.
The defense has called for jail time in the county, possibly even probation.
West addressed the court, expressing “deep and sincere regret” for all he had done. He said he knew he had victimized a lot of people and called the day he was arrested the worst and best thing that ever happened to him.
West told the judge he hit rock bottom with two addictions, but had been alcohol and porn free for over a year. He asked for mercy in the form of no prison sentence, so that he could continue his advice.
Given the amount of child pornography involved in this case, Deputy Chief District Attorney Tatum Wilson told the court she did not believe a state prison sentence was warranted.
But a 19-year-old NCC student caught West taking a photo with a skirt up which was reported to administration. It was never recommended for criminal charges, she said.
And West has shown a clear predilection for child pornography, Wilson told court, noting that the time he was caught viewing child pornography at work was probably not the first. He clearly needs treatment, so state prison is the place for him, she said.
The judge out of hand dismissed the defense’s request for a probationary or even six-month sentence and questioned whether a county sentence would defeat his treatment needs.
But Baratta made it clear that West was in need of “intensive treatment” and that he feared that his “cavalier” attitude about his behavior would make West resistant to advice, hence the four years of surveillance after his death. release. West was taken into custody immediately after his conviction.