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Appeals court upholds 230-year sentence for child porn

January 4, 2019

KINGMAN — An Arizona appellate court again upheld a 230-year prison sentence for a Kingman man convicted of numerous counts of child porn.

William Michael Meyer, 34, was convicted of 23 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor under the age of 15 years old and was sentenced in April 2015 to consecutive 10-year prison sentences. Meyer was arrested in 2014 for possessing 23 images of child pornography on his computer.

Meyer’s appellate attorney filed a second post-conviction relief appeal claiming the Superior Court judge violated his rights by denying his request for an appointed attorney for the second PCR proceedings and that his attorney from the first PCR was ineffective for failing to find issues to raise.

The Arizona Court of Appeals again upheld Meyer’s conviction and sentence in the second PCR, ruling that defendants have no constitutional right to an attorney in a PCR proceeding and that ineffective counsel is not recognized as grounds for relief.

In his first PCR appeal in July 2016, Meyer’s appellate attorney claimed the prosecutor offered insufficient evidence that the images were of children under the age of 15 years old. The defense attorney also argued that the judge erred in failing to instruct the jury that the children in the images were real or actual children.

The appellate attorney also argued that the judge violated the double jeopardy clause in sentencing Meyer to consecutive sentences for each of the 23 counts because the possession of the 23 images was a single act and the sentences were multiple punishments for the same act. The attorney also argued that the lengthy prison sentence was cruel and unusual punishment.

The appellate court denied that appeal, ruling that the detective had training and experiences in determining the age of the children. The court also ruled that Meyer did not meet the burden of prejudice in the jury instructions.

The appellate court also ruled that possessing the 23 images was not a single act and the judge did not violate the double jeopardy clause in imposing consecutive sentences. The court also ruled the sentence was not cruel and unusual punishment.

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