Former CHP officer sentenced 10 years on child pornography charges

A former California Highway Patrol officer was sentenced to 10 years and one month in prison Tuesday for receipt of child pornography, according to federal officials. 

Timothy Allen Horwath was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $53,000 in restitution and a $5,100 special assessment after he received sexually explicit materials involving children on his off time as a CHP officer.

Officials said some of the children were as young as three and four years of age. 

The Rancho Cordova man worked for the California Highway Patrol for 17 years before "visual depictions of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct" were discovered on a laptop in his CHP duty bag found in his garage, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The Sacramento Bee also reported that the 53-year-old's lawyer argued for a sentence of five years in prison with 15 years of supervised release because he "would have a target on his back" due to his employment as a law enforcement officer and being a "child pornographer."

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His lawyer also argued he lost his marriage, contact with his children, and his career, and that he himself was abused as a child by an elderly neighbor and was receiving mental healthcare, according to the newspaper.

Horwath was initially released on bond before it was revoked after he violated court conditions forbidding him from using a device with internet capabilities, federal officials said.

Investigators caught Horwath having "encrypted conversations" through WhatsApp on a phone. The conversations were with "females, many of which were sexual in nature."