Roger Paul Orich

Roger Orich

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A Hammond man convicted last year of possessing child pornography after police found hundreds of thousands of obscene images on computer storage devices in his home is not entitled to any reduction in his five-year sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

Roger Orich, 66, was ordered to serve four years at the Department of Correction and one year in community corrections after he pleaded guilty Sept. 10, 2019 to the level 5 felony, according to court records.

Orich argued in his appeal that he deserved a shorter sentence because, among other reasons, Lake Superior Judge Samuel Cappas failed to properly weigh aggravating and mitigating factors when deciding Orich's prison term.

Specifically, records show Orich claimed Cappas gave too much weight to Orich's prior arrests for "flashing" school children, battery against a child and child molesting, while not giving enough weight to Orich's alleged mental illness and prior traumatic brain injury.

The appeals court rejected Orich's arguments in a unanimous decision.

Records show the three-judge panel concluded Cappas acted within his discretion in identifying the aggravating and mitigating factors relevant to Orich's sentence, including giving little weight to testimony by Orich's psychologist that Orich simply had a hoarding disorder.

In particular, the appeals court noted Orich admitted that he collected numerous images depicting children under the age of 12 displaying their genitals, uncovered breasts and being fondled.

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Police also found additional images in Orich's home depicting children being raped by adults, sexual torture, sexual acts with child dolls and an internet history that included searches for abused and dead children, incest and bestiality, according to court records.

"We think the trial court was well within its discretion, as the finder of fact at a sentencing hearing, to make a reasonable inference that Orich collected child pornography to arouse or satisfy his sexual desires," the appeals court said.

"Even assuming that Orich was interested only in virtual images, the fact that Orich searched for such vile terms is indicative of the depth of his depravity and his prurient interest in violent sex acts involving children."

Orich still can appeal the decision to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

This article originally ran on nwitimes.com.

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