LANSING, Mich. — A Muskegon-area man who is accused of downloading Internet photos of child sex onto compact discs can be charged with making or manufacturing child pornography, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled.
The court released an opinion on Jan. 25 upholding the Muskegon County prosecutor's decision to charge former Egelston Township Treasurer Brian Lee Hill with making child porn, a 20-year felony.
Hill had argued the proper charge should have been possessing child porn, a four-year felony.
"My office is extremely pleased that the court has made this tool available to us," Prosecutor Tony Tague told the Muskegon Chronicle for a Jan. 26 story. "It will allow us to ensure that a punishment is given to child pornographers, because they now face up to 20 years as opposed to four."
Hill's attorney may appeal the ruling in Michigan v. Hill to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Hill, who resigned as treasurer in November, is charged with five counts of making or producing child sexually abusive material and five counts of using a computer to commit those crimes.
The child-porn counts stem from discoveries of numerous images of young boys engaged in sex acts found on computer disks in Hill's home. The images were downloaded from Web sites.
Hill also faces three counts of eavesdropping by installing a video device, a two-year felony.
Investigators say they found more than 3,000 images on 22 compact discs in Hill's home.