Alabama man sentenced in 1st-of-its-kind case

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced a Chilton
County man to 40 years in prison in a first-of-its-kind conviction under a federal law that targets the use of child pornography to break down a child's defenses to illegal sexual contact.

U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins imposed the sentence Wednesday on 37-year-old Jerry Alan Penton. Penton was convicted in December of possessing child pornography and violating a 2006 law against using child pornography to break down a child's defenses. The U.S. Justice Department said it was the first conviction under what's called the "anti-grooming law."

The Justice Department said the case was the result of a multiyear investigation by the FBI into allegations that Penton had molested two children, ages 6 and 8.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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