A Hannibal man charged with felony possession of child pornography received a 15-year sentence with the Department of Corrections following a November guilty plea.

A Hannibal man charged with felony possession of child pornography received a 15-year sentence with the Department of Corrections following a November guilty plea.

Lee V. Gatlin, of Hannibal, pleaded guilty to two felony charges of possession of child pornography before Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd on Monday, Nov. 20. Gatlin received the sentence during a Monday, April 15 hearing.

Public Defender Jennifer Richardson represented Gatlin. Marion County Prosecuting Attorney David Clayton represented the state. According to online court records, Gatlin pleaded not guilty to the two charges during a Monday, Aug. 14 hearing.

According to a probable cause statement filed in September 2015, a woman found a cell phone on the side of U.S. 61 in Hannibal. The woman, in an attempt to locate the phone’s owner, looked through photos and discovered what she believed to be child pornography. She turned the cell phone over to the Hannibal Police Department.

The phone was sent to the St. Charles Cybercrime Task Force for analysis.

Clayton said Gatlin's sentence reflected the seriousness of the crime.

“The defendant requested a lesser sentence. But his possession of child pornography was no mistake and it was revealed through the sentencing report that he viewed this material for sexual gratification,” Clayton said. “I asked the Judge to send the message that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated. This is an appropriate sentence due to the vile nature of the crime.”