UPDATE: Former pediatric nurse sentenced to prison for distributing child pornography

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

Published:

Updated: May 31, 2013, 7:04 PM

 
photoBryan Corbitt

A former pediatric nurse from Washougal was sentenced Friday to seven years in federal prison for distribution and receipt of child pornography.

Bryan W. Corbitt, 44, will be on supervised release for 10 years after he finishes his prison term, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle.

Corbitt, who worked as a pediatric intensive care nurse at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, was arrested on Feb. 16, 2012.

“This defendant betrayed the trust of the medical profession and the children and families he cared for in the pediatric intensive care unit,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “He tried unsuccessfully to hide his crime from law enforcement and his own family. It is fully appropriate that as part of his supervised release he will have to undergo sex offender treatment.”

Corbitt was represented by Vancouver attorney Steve Thayer and Ridgefield attorney David McDonald. McDonald said Friday that the federal prosecutor had asked for a sentence of 14 years, almost three times as long as the mandatory minimum sentence of five years. McDonald said Thayer argued at sentencing that Corbitt did not create, sell or advertise for sale any illegal images. Corbitt has been in treatment, submitted to a full psycho-sexual evaluation and passed a polygraph, Thayer told the judge.

Corbitt had recommendations from two doctors who said Corbitt was doing well in treatment, presented little to no risk to offend again and was a strong candidate for community-based treatment rather than prison. Thayer also said there was no evidence Corbitt, who has been allowed to live in his home with his sons, had any inappropriate contact with children.

McDonald said Corbitt gave an “impassioned, tearful apology” and was supported in court by his wife, parents, relatives and friends.

Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for Durkan, said in a news release that Corbitt was found to have been sharing “sexually explicit images of children over the Internet via a file-sharing program on his computer.”

Two of the people he shared images with, Langlie wrote, were undercover law enforcement agents.

At Friday’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said, “These are serious crimes. These children were victimized, and in your spare time, you persisted in victimizing them in your own way. That’s reprehensible.”

The case was handled by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

According to Langlie, Corbitt had used “wiping” software on his computer to try to hide his interest in child pornography. A forensic examination found more than 400 pornographic images. Many of the images, Langlie wrote, were clearly taken in a hospital setting.

“Many of the parents who contacted the case agent after news of Corbitt’s arrest were grieving their children’s deaths; many were parents of severely disabled children,” Langlie wrote. “To learn that Corbitt had been arrested and charged with crimes involving the sexual exploitation of innocent victims caused additional anguish.”

Brad Bench, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Seattle, was quoted in the news release as saying it’s “always disheartening when we arrest someone who was in a position of trust for possession of child pornography. This case is particularly egregious because the defendant, as a pediatric nurse, had a fundamental duty to protect children, but instead he chose to exploit them through his consumption of Internet child pornography.”

Stephanie Rice: 360-735-4508 or stephanie.rice@columbian.com.