Man gets 16 years in child pornography case
By Ed Meyer
Published on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008
A Hudson man described by his victim's father as a "monster" was sentenced Monday to 16 years in prison for his involvement in child pornography.
Herbert D. Twiggs, 56, of the 2800 block of Ravenna Street, was sentenced by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove on six counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and eight counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.
Twiggs, who was an equipment operator for the city of Hudson from 2003 to April 2006, pleaded guilty last month.
Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Dustin Roth told the judge that the offenses began in 2003, when the victim was 6 years old, and continued for nearly three years.
Roth said police seized a laptop computer, a "brag book" filled with nude photos of the boy and dozens of CDs containing thousands of graphic photos of children having sex with one another.
The boy's father tried to read a victim-impact statement before Cosgrove issued her sentence, but he broke down after the first few words and was unable to continue.
The father's statement--read by Roth--described Twiggs as a "monster" who destroyed the boy's life.
"He has changed our lives forever--for the worse," the statement concluded.
Cosgrove gave Twiggs eight years in prison for each series of offenses--all second-degree felonies--and ordered the sentences to run consecutively.
According to Ohio sentencing guidelines, a conviction for a second-degree felony carries a prison term of two to eight years.
Defense lawyer Brendon J. Kohrs told Cosgrove that Twiggs had no criminal history and that his actions could have been attributable to his cultural preferences as a nudist.
Responding to that claim, Cosgrove cited a pre-sentence investigation and psychological evaluation of Twiggs in which he was asked why he took close-up photos of himself fondling his victim.
"Being a naturalist, I didn't think I was committing an offense," the judge quoted Twiggs as telling investigators.
Cosgrove then had a question for the defendant.
"I mean, are you that out of tune that you don't know that is a violation of Ohio law?" the judge asked.
Cosgrove concluded her remarks by telling Twiggs: "You're a cancer on our society. There's no cure for cancer, but at least the court can see that you're not around other children."
Before being led away in handcuffs by sheriff's deputies, Twiggs made a brief statement. He said he was sorry for his actions, apologized to the victim--referring to the boy only as "the young gentleman"--and apologized to his mother for putting her through the ordeal.
The boy is now 11 and is undergoing counseling, his father said.
After the hearing, the father said the offenses came to light only when a Hudson city worker found a cell phone that Twiggs had left behind in a city vehicle.
The cell phone's personalized wallpaper had a photo of the boy in his underwear, the father said. The phone was turned over to Hudson police, and Twiggs was arrested.
Twiggs must register
As part of the sentence, Cosgrove also placed Twiggs in the state's most serious sex offender category, Tier III, which will require him to register his address with authorities for 25 years after his release from prison.
The name of the father is not being used in accordance with a Beacon Journal policy on not identifying victims of sexual assault.
Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or firstname.lastname@example.org