(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Former College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, once touted as a rising political star and self-proclaimed mentee of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, has been sentenced to a staggering 30 years in jail on harrowing charges related to child pornography.
Wojahn’s fall from grace concluded in a courtroom, with his guilty plea on August 2nd, acknowledging multiple counts of child pornography and intent to distribute, marking an appalling end to a scandal that rocked the Maryland-based city of College Park.
Wojahn’s tenure as mayor abruptly ended on March 2 when law enforcement authorities took him into custody. He entered a guilty plea on an alarming list of charges, encompassing 60 counts of distributing child pornography, along with 40 counts each of possessing child pornography and intending to distribute it.
His alleged professional association with Buttigieg, surfaced in a report by the New York Post on March 3rd. In a 2019 interview with the LGBT-focused Washington Blade, Wojahn referred to Buttigieg as a “buddy” he had encountered after assuming office in 2015.
The disgraced mayor recounted Buttigieg’s involvement during meetings of mayors in Washington, highlighting their interactions during the US Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting in DC in January 2015.
“I actually met Mayor Pete Buttigieg shortly after I was elected mayor in 2015,” he said. “I went to the US Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting in DC in January  and he was assigned to be my buddy.”
Wojahn’s statements attributed part of his political advancement to Buttigieg’s mentorship. “I now serve in a leadership role as vice chair of city livability and bicycling in part due to his mentorship,” Wojahn said of Buttigieg, according to the Blade. “We talked about balancing competing interests.”
During his sentencing, Wojahn was confronted with the anguish caused by his actions as victims recounted their ordeals in court. As per reports by Fox News, victims detailed experiencing severe anxiety, paranoia, disrupted sleep, and profound trust issues. Some victims were forced to relocate after being exposed as victims of sexual exploitation.
Monica Myers, the assistant state attorney in Prince George County, said that images of over 500 victims were in the former mayor’s phone.
“People often refer to this as a victimless crime, or they try to justify the actions of the defendant by saying he didn’t touch anyone,” Myers said, according to WTOP News. “The purpose of introducing all the statements by the victims today was to really convey behind every image he possessed is a story.”
Expressing remorse for his crimes, Wojahn addressed the court on Monday, claiming, “I know I contributed to that, and I’m deeply, deeply sorry … I recognize the damage I have caused,” he said of the victims. During his closing remarks, he addressed his husband, declaring, “I love you, too, very much.”
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