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Governor Commuted His Sentence. He Just Got Arrested Again

This time, on federal charges related to the same alleged crime
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2020 1:56 AM CDT
Updated Apr 12, 2020 10:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Kentucky man who was serving 15 years on charges of sodomy and the distribution of material depicting sexual performance of a minor had his sentence commuted last year by the state's then-governor—and now he's been arrested again on child pornography charges. Dayton Jones, 24, pleaded guilty to state charges stemming from a 2014 sexual assault and was sentenced to state prison. On Tuesday, he was arrested on a federal charge of producing child sex abuse material; the charge is related to the same 2014 incident, in which Jones and several others allegedly used a sex toy to assault an unconscious 15-year-old boy at a party, recording the incident and uploading video to Snapchat. An expert says that is not considered double jeopardy, since federal and state governments are considered separate sovereigns, though the move is rare.

Former Gov. Matt Bevin was lobbied by Christian County Commonwealth's Attorney Rick Boling to commute Jones' sentence, which he did in December before leaving office, along with hundreds of others including a child rapist and a convicted killer. He claimed nothing connected Jones to the crime other than the "testimony of kids who were getting a better deal by throwing [him] under the bus." The victim suffered an injured bladder and a punctured colon in the assault; the Courier Journal reports he almost died. "This prosecution is about one thing and one thing only, Mr. Jones' conduct in harming someone's child in the Western District of Kentucky in violation of federal law," a federal prosecutor says. If convicted, Jones faces a sentence of up to 30 years, with a mandatory minimum of 15. (The FBI was reportedly looking into Bevin's controversial pardons.)

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