CORUNNA — An Owosso man was sentenced to prison Friday in 35th Circuit Court by Judge Matthew Stewart for possession of child pornography.
Ryan Guzik, 32, was sentenced to three years, four months to seven years with the Michigan Department of Corrections for three felony counts of using a computer to commit a crime. Stewart also ordered Guzik to pay court costs and fines, and undergo mental health counseling while serving his sentence.
Guzik was given credit for 129 days served.
Guzik was charged by prosecutors March 22 with three counts of possession of child sexually abusive material (CSAM) and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime, following an investigation by Michigan State Police.
The investigation found thousands of photos and videos of child pornography on Guzik’s computer. He shared items via peer-to-peer networking.
He was arraigned in 66th District Court May 8 by Judge Terrance Dignan, and pleaded not guilty. Guzik has been lodged at the Shiawassee County jail since that time.
Guzik pleaded guilty July 25 as part of an agreement with prosecutors in which the possession of child sexually abusive materials charges were dismissed.
Friday, defense attorney Amy Husted said her client has been trying to improve himself while awaiting sentencing.
“He wants to seek treatment, and he’s come up with a list of things he can do to improve his life,” Husted said. “He is a pacifist. He believes in that, and he regrets his actions. I’d ask you to take that into consideration.”
Prosecutor Deana Finnegan noted Guzik’s actions directly support the abuse of children, and asked the court to sentence him to prison.
“These are the kinds of crimes that literally turn your stomach,” Finnegan said. “Even though Mr. Guzik did not abuse a child himself, by signing on and viewing sexually abusive materials, he encourages others to develop this, to make it and disseminate it. This behavior affects the most vulnerable members of our society. If there wasn’t an audience for this type of thing, it wouldn’t be produced any more.”
Before receiving his sentence, Guzik read a lengthy statement quoting Ephesians 4:32, a bible verse that urges people to forgive others.
“With my family’s forgiveness and support, I’m sure I can become a productive member of society,” Guzik said. “I vow to never be in front of you, or any other judge, for anything remotely related to this crime. I will have the self-discipline to not commit these crimes again. Now, in county time, I’ve done what I can to improve myself. I’ve attended church. I study the bible every day.”
“Clearly, you are well-spoken, prepared and a pretty smart guy, which doesn’t help you today,” Stewart replied. “You understand the concept of supply and demand. You know that if a lot of people want a product, people will make more of it. You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?
“Your elocution was very nice and thorough, but not once did I hear you say anything about these kids that are hurt because of you and others like you. When you click download or upload, and CSAM is generated, you create a demand for it, and people will exploit more children,” Stewart said. “So it’s interesting for me to hear you’re a pacifist when you’re just as responsible for abusing these children as the guy behind the camera. I have one question for you: What do you think happens to these children after they’re raped by adults, Mr. Guzik? They’re tainted for life. And you knew that when you clicked the button, didn’t you? That’s the problem.”