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Fairfax man gets jail, probation for six child pornography charges

OLIVIA — A Fairfax man was sentenced last month to a year in jail, seven years of probation and stayed prison time for possessing "thousands" of images of child pornography.

Stanley Severson, 56, is now in custody at the Renville County Jail. He was sentenced Feb. 24 after pleading guilty to all six felony pornography possession charges against him back in November.

Severson's sentence in Renville County District Court also comes with a stayed prison sentence of 99 months, or over eight years. That could be imposed if his probation is revoked, according to Assistant Renville County Attorney Glen Jacobsen.

Jacobsen said the seven-year probation sentence was the longest period that could be imposed.

Per the plea agreement, the sentencing was a downward dispositional departure, meaning a less severe sentence than sentencing guidelines would suggest. Each of the felony charges originally carried maximum sentences of 10 years or more.

According to the criminal complaint, it was just one pornographic image — flagged in an internet chatroom, and forwarded to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children — that prompted several search warrants for the home and electronic devices of Severson.

The information obtained in those search warrants, including at least five explicit pornographic images depicting children, led to the six charges against Severson, filed Aug. 31.

When investigators searched his home Aug. 24, they overheard Severson telling his wife that he had child pornography on his computers.

In a subsequent statement to law enforcement, Severson reportedly admitted to possessing thousands of digital pornographic images, posting them online to several chat rooms under the name "dollmaker."

According to court documents, he pointed investigators to a flash drive he used to store pornography, and handed over a tablet computer.

The images involved in the six charges are extremely explicit, depicting toddlers and prepubescent girls, according to the criminal complaint on the charges.

From the complaint, it is unclear if Severson actually possessed thousands of pornographic images. He was charged for possessing five images, but Renville County sheriff's deputies searched through nearly 600,000 images and videos contained on several different flash drives.