Spellings sentenced to 18 months in prison

Spellings sentenced to 18 months in prison

A Gibson County man and former UT Martin ROTC instructor has been sentenced in federal court for allegedly sending inappropriate material to a teenage girl.

Joseph Allen Spellings, 29, of Trenton was sentenced Friday to 18 months of incarceration and three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
Spellings entered a plea in October 2010 to one count of transmitting obscene materials to a minor.

Spellings — who had worked as a contracted ROTC instructor at the University of Tennessee at Martin prior to his arrest — was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2010 on two separate counts of allegedly using a computer and cell phone to send obscene images to a 14-year-old girl. 

He was taken into custody in late April 2010 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred between March and April.

According to a complaint filed by the FBI, Spellings was accused of transferring obscene material to a minor younger than age 16 and using interstate “Internet Instant Messages” to attempt to persuade, induce, entice or coerce a female younger than age 16 to engage in sexual activity.

From March 10 through April 8, Spellings allegedly communicated over the Internet using MySpace.com and Gmail.com with the girl and with undercover agents posing as the 14-year-old girl.

wcp 1/20/11

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