TROY — A Darke County resident and Troy area businessman was sentenced Monday, May 3, to six months in the Miami County Jail following pleas to charges involving child pornography.
David J. Kessler, 57, was described in Miami County Common Pleas Court as a community leader and supporter of youth activities in Arcanum, where he resides.
Kessler, who is in the construction business, pleaded guilty to 10 felony charges of pandering obscenity involving a minor and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor between July 2016 and last August.
Defense lawyer Jose Lopez said Kessler was a “good man” with no criminal record. His family and friends, he said, were shocked by the allegations.
Kessler was in the process of rehabilitation and is remorseful, Lopez said.
“I am embarrassed. I don’t know what to say,” Kessler said in remarks before Judge Stacy Wall.
The judge said that while some claimed there were no victims of the crime, that is not the case. Some of the children seen in videos are among those listed as missing and exploited, she said.
Wall said Kessler viewed the pornography in his office and downloaded images. Photographs then were organized in labeled files. Evidence showed he initially was viewing adult sites before more focus was found during the past couple of years on child pornography, she said.
The judge said she received numerous letters from people supporting Kessler. All said they were “shocked” by the allegations and likely didn’t know there were photos of children as young as 5, she said.
Kessler was sentenced to concurrent sentences of three to 4.5 years on the five pandering obscenity involving a minor charges and a year on each of the five pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor charges. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently.
The prison sentence was suspended on the condition Kessler serves six months in jail and completes five years of community control. He was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and have no unsupervised contact with children, among other conditions of probation.
Kessler was classified as a Tier II sex offender, requiring him to register with the sheriff’s office in the county where he resides every 180 days for 25 years.