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WINCHESTER — A Frederick County man who says he was raped as a 5-year-old told a psychologist that he downloaded child pornography to remind himself that he wasn’t the only victim, not for sexual gratification.

“My heart goes out to all the victims who suffered this horror,” David William Hines said before being sentenced on Friday in Frederick County Circuit Court. “However, I am not a deviant. I made a horrible mistake and I am truly sorry.”

Hines, 48, of the 100 block of Netherfield Court, will serve up to six years in prison after receiving a 50-year sentence with 44 years suspended. He pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and nine counts of the second or subsequent offense of possession of child pornography.

Upon release, Hines will have to register as a sex offender and have no unsupervised contact with minors or unsupervised internet use. He will be on supervised probation for three years and unsupervised probation for the following two.

Hines was arrested on Sept. 11, 2018, after downloaded video of prepubescent children being sexually abused was traced back to his IP address. Hines confessed when arrested. At least 255 videos were found.

State sentencing guidelines recommended a minimum of three years and six months, a midpoint of eight years and eight months and a maximum of 10 years and eight months. In asking for a maximum sentence, Louis Campola, an assistant county commonwealth’s attorney, emphasized to Judge Alexander R. Iden that the videos were particularly heinous even by child pornography standards. The videos show of children being raped.

“Each time these images are downloaded, these children are victimized again,” Campola said. “The more the demand is, the more the supply is. We’re trying to destroy that demand.”

But defense witnesses said Hines is also a victim. His father and a longtime friend testified that two years before Hines was arrested, he said he’d been molested once by a neighbor when he was 5 years old. But in a psycho-sexual evaluation done in jail by April M. Szilagyi, a clinical and forensic psychologist and certified sex offender treatment provider, Hines said the neighbor repeatedly molested him. On one occasion, he said the neighbor sodomized him and forced him to perform oral sex.

Szilagyi said she believed Hines and said it is common for molestation victims to keep the abuse secret due to shame and doubt that they will be believed.

“It is unfortunate that our society expects male victims to suck it up and get over it,” Szilagyi said. “We know, based on MRI and CT scans of victims before and after the abuse, that the chemical patterns of their brains change. The brain is essentially rewired because of the trauma.”

Hines said he was raped on the night his parents left him with the neighbor so that they could go to the hospital, where his mother gave birth to his sister. He told Szilagyi that led him to resent his sister and that the molestation caused lifelong depression.

Szilagyi testified that the depression was compounded when Hines, who used a walker in court and said he needs a wheelchair, was diagnosed in 2016 with Gullian-Barre Syndrome, a rare nerve disease that causes fatigue and severe muscle deterioration. Unable to work, Hines began drinking heavily and became suicidal.

Prior to his arrest, Hines was involuntarily hospitalized for three days after calling a suicide prevention hotline. He was prescribed anti-depressant drugs including lithium and Risperdal after being diagnosed as bipolar. Szilagyi disputed the bipolar diagnosis, but she said Hines’ mental health needs weren’t met. She said he was feeling “extremely hopeless” at the time he watched the videos. She said he denied masturbating while watching them.

“He described his viewing of the child pornography as a way to deal with what happened to him in his childhood,” Szilagyi said. “Mr. Hines has been able to acknowledge that his way of dealing with it was illegal and inappropriate.”

While cross-examining Szilagyi, Campola noted that Hines told police after being arrested that he watched the porn out of “boredom and curiosity,” not to deal with trauma. However, defense attorney Gerardo M. Delgado said it was plausible that Hines was ashamed to admit being a victim.

“There is no justification for what he did, but he was raped at 5 and has been suffering for 43 years,” Delgado told Iden. “It’s really tragic because if he got the help he needed, he wouldn’t be here today.”

Iden said he believed Hines was a victim and it was difficult for him as a judge “absorbing the magnitude of this tragedy.” Nonetheless, Iden said Hines needed to be punished because the demand for child pornography drives the supply leading to worldwide child abuse.

“You are a consumer of the worst contraband there is,” Iden said. “Being a consumer keeps the machine churning.”

— Contact Evan Goodenow at egoodenow@winchesterstar.com

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