GREENWOOD, Ind.– The former owner of a popular Greenwood ice cream shop pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and learned his sentence Monday.
John Cassin, 75, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography. He received three years on probation, with the first year being on home detention. He will also have to register as a sex offender for life. Prior to the plea, he had been facing one to six years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Cassin was the owner of the popular Mrs. Curl Ice Cream Shop in Greenwood. Following his arrest in April, the shop said new ownership was put in place in January of 2019 due to Cassin’s age and pending retirement. The company remained open and Cassin gave up any further role at the establishment.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case, the investigation began in October 2018 after police received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child pornography, specifically a sexually explicit photo of a juvenile.
Investigators tracked the IP address to Cassin’s home in Whiteland and obtained a search warrant for all computers and related electronics at the home, along with all electronic media, accounts and associated passwords.
Investigators executed the search warrant on March 20. When police went to Cassin’s home, he told them he had a desktop computer that he used to read news and look at pornography. He told investigators they would “probably find child pornography activity on the computer dating back to its purchase.”
Cassin told police they’d find search terms about juveniles on the computer. He visited different internet chan boards/image boards to look at images of child pornography, court documents said.
He denied ever engaging in sexual activity with a juvenile.
During his sentencing hearing Monday, the state argued this was a continuing pattern of behavior despite Cassin not having a criminal history. The nature of the crime and the young age of the victims prompted the state to request jail time. Circuit Court Judge Andy Roesener disagreed and gave Cassin his sentence.
“While we argued for prison time for this offense, there is no question that the Defendant’s lack of criminal history and age were strong mitigating circumstance in the Court’s ultimate decision,” said Johnson County Prosecutor Joe Villanueva. “We are pleased that Cassin did receive some form of an executed sentence and will spend the rest of his life on the sex offender registry.”
Video from a previous story below: