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9:59 PM Fri, Sept. 21st

Chino Valley man takes plea in porn charge

Schaffer

Schaffer

PRESCOTT - A Chino Valley man, arrested when a computer technician repairing his laptop found what he believed was child porn, on Monday took a plea deal which cut the charges against him from 12 to three, but could still see him serve significant prison time.

Andrew Schaffer, 51, was taken into custody in July after Chino Valley police, tipped off by the technician, obtained a search warrant for his computer. Detectives said they found at least 10 pornographic images of young children.

A subsequent search of his home turned up marijuana and drug paraphernalia, police said.

Schaffer was indicted on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and two drug charges.

On Monday, he accepted a deal to plead guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation.

Before he did, though, the attorneys met with Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock to ask her if she was prepared to stipulate to a sentence, but she said she couldn't and needed more information first.

Schaffer could get 54 years in prison, but Hancock said that, while - by state law - she had to sentence him to prison on the first count, which could be as long as 24 years, she could give him probation on the other two.

That probation, she noted, could be from five years up to lifetime.

Hancock will sentence him in March.