July 29, 2014

Medina
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Man revokes no contest plea in child porn case

MEDINA — A 26-year-old Sharon Township man who pleaded no contest last month to having child porn on his home computer has changed his plea to not guilty.

Nicholas K. Sutherland, of 6502 Ridge Road, withdrew his plea in a Monday motion after a grand jury indicted him on more severe child porn charges Dec. 20 stemming from another case.

Nicholas Sutherland

Nicholas Sutherland

In the earlier case, Sutherland was charged with six counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance — fifth-degree felonies punishable by up to a year in prison.

The new charges are three counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor — second-degree felonies punishable by up to eight years in prison.

“The increase in severity of penalties associated with felonies of the second degree including, among other considerations, a presumption of prison fundamentally changes the calculus involved in deciding to plead to, rather than litigate, the charges,” Sutherland’s attorney, John G. Quillin, stated in the motion to withdraw the plea.

Quillin also withdrew as Sutherland’s attorney because he has taken a job as an assistant prosecutor with Medina’s law department.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier scheduled Sutherland for an April 7 trial on the fifth-degree felonies involving the earlier case.

Sutherland awaits a March 24 trial before Judge James L. Kimbler on the new second-degree charges.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.