Criminal Justice

Will former top administrative judge be third Oregon attorney to receive probation in a child porn case?

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A May 11 sentencing date has been set for Oregon’s former top administrative law judge after his guilty plea to encouraging child sexual abuse in a child pornography case.

The former judge, John Michael Mann, agreed to the guilty plea in a March 3 plea change petition, according to a post by blogger Stephanie Volin on Medium. An online records search shows Mann pleaded guilty to 10 counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in Washington County, Oregon.

“I unlawfully and knowingly possessed visual recordings of sexually explicit conduct involving children with intent to display those recordings,” Mann said in the plea change petition. He acknowledged “being aware of and consciously disregarding the fact that creation of those recordings involved child abuse.”

Mann was arrested in March 2022. He went on unpaid leave from his position as chief administrative law judge, where he handled cases mostly involving unemployment claims and child support. Mann was placed on interim suspension from the bar on March 31.

Mann’s court-appointed lawyer in the criminal case, Lawrence L. Taylor, told the ABA Journal he will seek an “optional probation sentence” based on the punishment given in similar cases.

“Twice in the recent past,” Taylor said, “Oregon licensed attorneys have been charged with an identical number and type of charges. … In both of those cases, based upon a presentence investigation report and recommendation, the court imposed what we refer to as an optional probation sentence—where the sentencing guidelines call for a term of imprisonment but the court based on certain criteria … determines that a probationary sentence is more likely to protect the interests of the public and reform the convicted person.”

The judge in the two past cases was Andrew Erwin, according to another Medium post by Volin. Erwin is also the judge in Mann’s case.

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