A Georgia man denounced as perhaps the “most prolific” collector of child pornography has been released on parole after serving only 7 years of his 1,000-year sentence.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles released Peter Mallory on parole May 27. His release comes just three weeks after an appeals court determined that the sentence for his 2012 conviction was appropriate.
District Attorney Herb Cranford told the Journal-Constitution that he strongly opposed the decision “but was powerless to stop it.”
Mallory, 72, the former Troup County commissioner and owner of LaGrange television station WCAG-TV, was convicted of 60 counts of sexual exploitation of children, three counts of invasion of privacy and one count of tampering with evidence in December 2012 after a trial lasting three weeks.
According to prosecutors, the LaGrange Police Department was alerted to more than 600 suspected child porn files linked to a computer in LaGrange, which led them to the television station Mallory operated. There, they seized more than 26,000 files of child sexual abuse images.
“The evidence demonstrated that Mallory knowingly and intentionally sought out, gathered, downloaded and saved these images and videos of children being raped, tortured and sexually exploited,” Cranford said in a prior news release, adding that the invasion of privacy charges came from a hidden camera Mallory installed in his office that he used to record unknowing young women.
During Mallory’s sentencing a few months after the trial, Coweta Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Dennis Blackmon said that he was “probably the most prolific collector of child pornography in the entire world.”
The Journal-Constitution continues:
Cranford advocated against Mallory’s release in a December letter to the parole board. Mallory was first eligible for parole in December 2019, seven years after his conviction. According to a parole board spokesman, Mallory’s eligibility was determined by Georgia’s sentencing laws for consecutive sentences, despite the length of his sentence.
The board reconsidered the case and set a new parole month of December 2022.
Cranford said he opposed parole “now or any time in the future” and said the Troup County community would be offended if Mallory was released after serving just seven years of his 1,000-year sentence.
“The evidence shows that Mallory is sexually deviant and commits these crimes by compulsion as much as by choice,” Cranford said in his letter. “In the current digital age, no amount of supervision can stop a compulsive sexual deviant like Mallory from seeking out the most heinous images and videos of small children being sexually abused.”
Two of Mallory’s victims also opposed parole, Cranford said. At the very least, they requested for Mallory to be banned from Troup County and from contacting them if he was released, a request that was ultimately granted.
“Mallory’s crimes did not allow for the state to seek or the trial court to impose a sentence without parole eligibility, and parole is a power exercised exclusively by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles,” Cranford said in another statement late last month.
Back in April, the parole board told Cranford that Mallory’s earlier release was possible due to “performance incentive credits.” Board spokesman Steve Hayes said Mallory actually served five months beyond the date he was eligible for release by law and the board followed its guidelines system to determine his parole.
“The clemency recommendation was for a parole release at eligibility,” Hayes said in an email to the Journal-Constitution. “Mallory was released five months later. His parole release is not COVID-19 related.”
For the remainder of his sentence, the Journal-Constitution notes, Mallory will be required to register as a sex offender and will have his parole revoked if he violates the law or the conditions of his release.
“The board is confident he will be closely monitored by the Georgia Department of Community Supervision,” Hayes concluded.
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