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Court upholds child porn conviction of Gainesville doctor

Kapordelis faces 35 years in prison

POSTED: June 2, 2009 10:35 p.m.
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Gregory Kapordelis

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A federal appeals court has upheld the 2007 conviction and sentence of a Gainesville anesthesiologist serving a 35-year prison term on child pornography charges.

In its ruling on the appeal of Gregory Kapordelis, the three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said trial judge Charles Pannell did not abuse his discretion when he exceeded federal sentencing guidelines in imposing a 420-month prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

"The district court varied upward ... demonstrating its intention to give Kapordelis the longest sentence it could, based on Kapordelis’ long history of abuse, parity and the need for incapacitation," the court wrote in a 49-page opinion.

The appeals court found that according to the testimony of one witness at the trial, "Kapordelis has been drugging and molesting minors for at least 20 years."

Kapordelis, 47, was not convicted of child molestation.

He was found guilty by a jury of possessing thousands of images of child pornography and of taking sexually explicit photographs of children in his care while they were sleeping.

Kapordelis was defiant throughout the trial, at one time acting as his own attorney and in a final statement to the judge comparing a government prosecutor to Hitler.

The appeals court noted Kapordelis’ attitude and apparent lack of remorse, writing that he "was hardly penitent during the sentencing proceedings."

The court also rejected a claim by Kapordelis that a search warrant that led to the discovery of the pornography was invalid because it included criminal allegations that ultimately were not pursued.

Kapordelis was initially charged with traveling to Russia and the Czech Republic to engage in "sex tourism" with minors. Prosecutors said the logistics of locating and bringing young witnesses to the United States, combined with the evidence uncovered from computers seized at Kapordelis’ home, led them to pursue a child porn case instead.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said in a statement that the appeals court decision "confirmed that Dr. Kapordelis committed sex crimes against children for many years."

"The court’s decision highlights Dr. Kapordelis’ complete lack of remorse in the face of these terrible abuses of trust," Nahmias said. "Further, the opinion explains how, if not for the dedicated work of federal investigators who uncovered the complex ways that Dr. Kapordelis concealed both his conduct and his cache of child pornography, we would never have discovered the extent of his crimes."



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