St. Marys man sentenced for sexual abuse of children

At the Elk County Courthouse in Ridgway on Thursday, Jonathan Joseph Bilodeau, 20, of St. Marys, was sentenced for the offense of sexual abuse of children, a felony of the third degree.Bilodeau pleaded guilty in August to the charge, which stems from a July 22, 2010 incident in which Bilodeau distributed child pornography to a Pennsylvania State Trooper via a peer-to-peer file-sharing program on his laptop computer. The file contained a one-minute, 31-second video of a child under the age of 18 years old engaging in a sexual act. As of his guilty plea, sentencing had been deferred pending the completion of an evaluation by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine whether Bilodeau qualified as a sexually violent predator. On Thursday, presiding Judge Richard Masson, in reviewing the board's findings, said Bilodeau "did not qualify under criteria for a sexually violent offender."Prior to sentencing, Masson afforded Bilodeau the opportunity to make a statement on his own behalf. "I am truly sorry for what I have done," Bilodeau said. In a statement before the court, Pamela Bilodeau, the defendant's mother, said, "My son has always been a good boy. He just made one mistake that took one minute and seven seconds. Now with a felony record his life is somewhat ruined," she said. Masson clarified that Bilodeau had continued to access "similar [web] sites" for a two-month period after the July 22, 2010 incident as indicated in the investigation report. Masson subsequently sentenced Bilodeau to four years in the County Intermediate Punishment Program. In addition, Bilodeau was placed on house arrest for a period of four months, with electronic monitoring, at the defendant's expense, for the first 60 days and without electronic monitoring for the remaining 60 days. Bilodeau must also pay $35 in monthly supervision fees, a $500 fine, $250 for the DNA test assessment fee, and $379.75 for the cost of prosecution. Bilodeau was also ordered to register with the Pennsylvania State Police under the Megan's Law sex offender registration for a period of 10 years, a requirement for this offense, as Masson explained. Pick up a copy of the Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.