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Local News

March 27, 2013

Veteran gets 4 months for child porn

Lawyer: Asperger's syndrome a factor

(Continued)

Asperger’s, which has become more widely known in recent years, is a diagnosis on the “autism spectrum,” in which a person exhibits difficulty maintaining social connections.

Hedges told the judge that her client suffers from a compulsion to collect things, and that while he collected the child pornography, testing did not show that he was sexually interested in children.

There is also no evidence that he has ever had any sexual contact with a child.

That’s one factor that Whitehead noted in his sentencing.

The judge said that he’s reviewed similar cases in Essex County and noticed that the sentences being handed down are “generally four, five, six months.”

The judge said that the defendant’s Asperger’s diagnosis and his military service in Iraq were also factors in his decision.

“That does count for something with me and, hopefully, many of my fellow citizens,” Whitehead said.

Once released, Macaro will be required to register as a sex offender and undergo a mental health evaluation and sex offender treatment if deemed necessary. He may also be required to wear a GPS bracelet to monitor his whereabouts.

The judge said he would not ban Macaro from using a computer for other purposes, saying a total ban would be impractical and akin to barring him from using a telephone or a car, but warned him that he’ll have to hand the computer over to a probation officer for random inspections.

Macaro, who had been free on $10,000 bail before yesterday, was taken into custody in the courtroom.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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