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Bourque Sentenced to 10 Years for Receipt, Distribution of Child Pornography

Former Suffield police officer and Granby police captain will serve at least 8.5 years in prison.

A federal judge sentenced former Granby police captain and Suffield police officer David Bourque today to 10 years in prison for compiling one of the largest known collections of child pornography in the state.

Bourque, 51, to one count of the receipt and distribution of child pornography after investigators discovered on several computers 20,282 images and 4,084 videos that primarily depicted boys under the age of 14 engaged in sexual acts. The more heinous images involved toddlers and, in at least one instance, a baby.

He was .

“You collected an extraordinary amount of child pornography,” Judge Alvin Thompson said at the U.S. District Court in Hartford on Friday afternoon.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Bourque faced a maximum of 20 years in prison, while his attorney argued for less than 5 years.

Thompson noted that the sheer volume of Bourque’s collection, coupled with his role as a law enforcement officer led him to impose a long prison sentence despite Bourque’s guilty plea and subsequent cooperation with federal authorities in other investigations.

Among the most significant factors in Judge Thompson reaching his decision was Bourque’s attendance at a law enforcement seminar concerning the efforts that the FBI was making to detect and catch those engaged in the trafficking of child pornography.

Judge Thompson noted that Bourque approached an FBI agent and inquired as to what efforts were being made to infiltrate the platform that Bourque was using to trade images and videos.

Thompson called Bourque’s effort as a law enforcement official to use the conference to help avoid detection as “nothing short of outrageous.” Thompson also found that Bourque used his role as a police officer to help others evade detection.

Under federal law, the earliest that Bourque can be released is after 8.5 years, according to Bourque's lawyer, Richard Brown. After his prison term, Bourque faces 10 years of supervised release, as well as 10 other conditions that he must adhere to, including registering as a sex offender and no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 without permission from the U.S. Department of Probation.

Outside the courthouse, Brown expressed his disappointment with the judge's sentencing.

"Ten years in my opinion is still a long time in a case like this, but the court felt that based upon the aggravating circumstances articulated in court that he deserved more than the average person," Brown said. "On the other hand, he did give him significant consideration based upon his cooperation."

Despite his disappointment, Brown said that there were no plans to appeal the sentence.

In a press release, U.S. Attorney David Fein said that the sentence was fair.

"This lengthy term of imprisonment is appropriate for any individual who possesses and distributes child pornography, but especially a police officer who so flagrantly violated his oath to uphold the law," Fein wrote. "I commend the Connecticut State Police Computer Crimes Unit, the FBI and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force for their joint investigation of the matter, and the tireless work they do every day to investigate these crimes in order to protect children from exploitation."

Bourque was remanded into custody immediately, based on the federal prosecutors' argument that Bourque presented a threat to himself; Bourque allegedly attempted to commit suicide in April 2011 just prior to his arrest.

Prior to the judge imposing the sentence, Bourque apologized to his family, friends and former co-workers for his actions.

“I lost my way,” he said. “The fact that I viewed child pornography is beyond comprehension. … I have wronged so many people. I am ashamed.”

Thompson imposed the sentence on Bourque despite the apology and the impassioned pleas of his attorney, Richard Brown, one of his daughters, Caitlin, and a family friend.

Brown argued that Bourque, who also served on the Suffield police department for 30 years, amassed the child pornography collection over a period of just seven months - from August 2010 to February 2011 - due to his post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, which were diagnosed subsequent to his arrest.

Bourque sustained the PTSD, Brown claimed, from the 15 years he served on the North Central Municipal Regional Accident Reconstruction Team, on which he witnessed between 150 and 200 fatalities, not to mention numerous scenes at which victims were seriously injured.

Bourque had come under fire in October 2010 when he failed to remain at a fatal accident involving former Windsor Locks police officer Michael Koistinen; Bourque and his team were removed from the case when it was found that Koistinen was not administered a blood-alcohol test at the scene of the accident that killed 15-year-old Henry Dang.

Brown also said that Bourque was sexually assaulted by a family friend when he was a child, something that was revealed only when Bourque was being polygraphed by federal investigators over the course of several hours after he was arrested.

In addition, Brown said that Bourque had quickly accepted his guilt and cooperated with state and federal investigators in other child pornography cases. Brown argued that there was no evidence that Bourque ever molested a child or that he manufactured child pornography, nor was there evidence that Bourque ever viewed all of the images contained in his computer files.

Brown also took the opportunity to rail against the federal sentencing guidelines, which called for Bourque to be incarcerated for between 17.5 and 20 years. Brown requested that the judge waive the sentencing guidelines and impose a prison sentence of less than five years.

Caitlin Bourque tearfully asked the judge for leniency, stating that her father was a good, hard working man who lost his way. In addition, Caitlin Bourque said that her father would not be able to receive the proper treatment he needed in prison for his several mental disorders.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Miller, however, dismissed those arguments, stating that the court should focus on the crime itself.

“This individual amassed a huge collection of child pornography over a relatively short period of time,” Miller said. “He had the full panoply from images, to videos to stories describing child molestation.”

Miller cited from the government’s sentencing brief a chat that Bourque had with someone he was trading pornography with in which Bourque states that he had images involving young boys being raped and engaged in bondage.

“He had a catalog in his head of what’s new and what’s old,” Miller said.

After he retired from the Suffield police department after 30 years of service, Bourque became a Granby police captain and was widely considered the heir apparent to then-Chief of Police David Watkins.

After his arrest, from the Granby police department upon receiving $30,000 for accrued vacation and sick time.

Peter Dinella February 11, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Was it a forced retirement in Suffield? ["After he retired from the Suffield police department after 30 years of service..."] I guess he was no "heir apparent" in Suffield. "After his arrest, Bourque eventually resigned from the Granby police department upon receiving $30,000 for accrued vacation and sick time." A $30,000+ mistake.
Perry Robbin February 11, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Peter – From everything I've heard, Bourque's retirement in Suffield was voluntary and not forced. He actually had a good reputation in Suffield before all of this very, very disturbing information came to light.
Peter Dinella February 11, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Perry, I'd love to believe you, but I cannot imagine nobody knew about this guy or at least suspected something. It is easier for people to look the other way than to point the finger at a long service employee. I saw this happen in business many times. Someone knew something but selected the easy way out. What's my proof for this suspicion? Look at where he is now.
Ronald Miller February 12, 2012 at 07:27 PM
I am embarrassed by our legal system. Bourque should have received the maximum twenty year sentence without provision for early parole. Based on history and the fact he attended the FBI classes to obviously try to outsmart the system that would eventually capture him he's just getting warmed up. In 8.5 years, if he serves that, he'll find a way to get around the law he helped create and become a bigger predator and menace to society and everything that is supposed to right.
Jim G. February 12, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Ten years in prison for an ex-cop child porn perp is going to be a very, very long time. Anything longer would have been like executing him twice.
Rocky February 12, 2012 at 08:46 PM
As a convict and inmate he will be place in protective custody no doubt. Probably warehoused out of state. Once inside, and other inmates find out who he really is, a former cop and kiddie porn viewer peddler will probably become a target. Remember what happened to Father John Geoghan. The Geoghan story is easily viewed on Wikipedia
Andrew Ziemba February 13, 2012 at 12:58 AM
He should get life in prison and those who oppose the death penalty should foot the bill.
Ted Glanzer (Editor) February 13, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Hi Ronald, thanks for the comment. The federal judicial system does not have parole. Just to clarify, the earliest that he can be released from prison is 8.5 years with good behavior - the most anyone can trim off their sentences is 15 percent of the time, according to Bourque's lawyer.
teresa hoff February 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM
While this is all tragic, my son who is 15 stated "that's the guy that came to my school and said to not do those kind of things on line and how to stay away from it?. If this was a regular Joe the time would have been much longer. Part of the sentencing role is for deterrent as well and as a cop he should be held to a higher standard for obvious reasons. Those that have the power to enforce the law should be held to high standards because at one level they make judgements on other people and determinations of how law enforcement deals with them.
George February 15, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I agree that he should have received more time, however your comment about a "regular Joe" would have received more time is not accurate. Remember the recent article by the Patch about a Granby resident who was convicted on child pornography charges? 10 years, suspended after 2 years. So this "regular Joe" only has to stay behind bars for 2 years! Then another Granby resident guilty of sex assault 4 (inappropriate touching) of minor. Five years suspended after 1 year! So again this "regular Joe" only has to serve one year behind bars for touching a minor in a place where he shouldn't have. Police don't make judgments on other people, that is the duty of the courts. Held to "higher standards"? Tell me another profession where if they violate the law, or company rules they are held to higher standards. If you come up with one, which I doubt you will then I will agree with you.
teresa hoff February 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM
ok Steve. this is easy. Look up the Maine teacher that just got sentenced for child pornography. He got 16 years and the judge talked about what he did for a living as a teacher and how that played into his getting more time. I would submit it was used as a deterrent. There are other cases I could list, too many. I have personally sat through hundreds of these and it happens all the time. Now one will argue the Maine teacher took pictures, that is true. But he never was ever charged for distributing them. He also had a clean record prior, was never charged or convicted for anything. There is never going to be a case that is identical but this guy was a cop and it was even submitted by the prosecution that when he was at FBI trainings he would inquire about new methods to detect people doing this. Talk about taking advantage of his position. As I already said he came to my kids school to warn them about this, talk about no credibility and what this does for the whole town of granbys police force credibility, these kids are not stupid. The damage done by HIS actions are far reaching to many households beyond his in this particular case. Ted is correct there is no parole in the Feds system and he will be protected by where he goes, his time was about 6 or 7 years light. And so we are keeping it real. Good for Borque he was white regarding sentencing as well. That is a whole different discussion. .
Ted Glanzer (Editor) February 15, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Hi gang. Thank you for your comments. Please try to use your real name. T, I'm not taking a position on the matter, but one factor I believe played an important role in Bourque not getting a harsher sentence (many of the filings in this case were under seal) is that he assisted with the investigation of others who traffic in child pornography. Furthermore, unlike the teacher cited in your prior comment, there was no evidence that Bourque produced child pornography, which is a different crime that would have invited a longer prison term. Again, I take no position on the matter other than clarifying some points.
George February 15, 2012 at 11:11 PM
t, I haven't read the entire article, but just the first few sentences. I agree with Ted, the Maine teacher case compared to Bourque is apples to oranges. The Maine teacher, "admits producing child pornography involving four children in his class." Now, neither one of these guys are saints, but in my opinion if this guy who was a teacher is taking sexual explicit pictures of the children from his class, then this is a more heinous crime then just viewing them like Bourque did and deserved the punishment. I don't think this affects the entire police departments credibility, because the actions of one man are not reflective of an entire department. Lastly, if your last comment has anything to do with Bourque getting off light because he is white, then yes let's not have that discussion because it is racist and ludicrous.

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