A Franklin man was sentenced last week to serve a max of 11.5 years in prison for various sexual offenses against minors.
At the September 25 session of Macon County Superior Court, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 48, of Shady Cove Lane, pled guilty to five felony counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor and two felony counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. The sentence was part of a plea deal offered by the District Attorney’s office.
Kennedy was investigated and arrested in August 2011 following a complaint from a concerned citizen. Initially, Macon County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) detectives searched Kennedy's residence during an identity theft investigation. During the investigation, Kennedy admitted to having hundreds of pornographic images of children in his possession, according to search warrants from the time of his arrest.
While conducting their investigation and working with California and Texas Authorities, MCSO investigators were able to gather enough information to allow them to successfully obtain and execute search warrants at the suspect’s residence.
According to authorities, Kennedy admitted at the time of his arrest to using internet social networking sites and chat rooms, such as Facebook, to commit such sexual offenses using multiple aliases.
Throughout the course of the investigation, Kennedy was charged with more than 30 sexual exploitation offenses and was held on a secured bond of $225,000.
In addition to his sentence, Kennedy will be admitted into the Sexual Offenders Accountability treatment program and must pay $1,710 in attorney fees. Kennedy will be held in a North Carolina Department of Corrections facility for 98-138 months, minus the 417 days that he was in the custody of the Macon County Detention Center. Upon his release, he must register as a sex offender.