Former TV station owner convicted of child porn charges released on parole

A former television station owner convicted on child pornography charges was paroled in May after serving 7 years of his 1,000-year sentence.

Peter Mallory of Lagrange, Georgia was convicted by a jury in December 2012 of downloading and storing thousands of images depicting child pornography while working as the owner of low-power television station WJCN-TV (Channel 33).

During their investigation, police said they discovered someone on the campus of West Georgia Technical College had been downloading child pornography using the school’s Internet connection. At first, detectives suspected the culprit was a student, but they eventually zeroed in on Mallory, whose television station was housed in a building on campus.

Police said the discovery of 26,000 images on Mallory’s computer was more than they had ever come across in a Georgia criminal case.

Mallory’s attorneys argued that the man didn’t intend to download the images and had made a mistake, and that a surveillance camera installed in the TV station owner’s office had been installed to capture suspected thieves who were stealing items from the school.

A jury didn’t buy that argument. Mallory was convicted on several charges related to the crime.

In February 2013, Mallory was sentenced to 1,000 years in prison — the longest criminal sentence handed down in state history, according to ABC affiliate WSB-TV (Channel 2).

He became eligible for parole last December and was granted a request for release from prison in late May, WSB reported on Wednesday.

Authorities said Mallory will be placed on community supervision as a condition of his parole for the rest of his life, subject to computer and electronic monitoring and forbidden from entering Troup County where his former TV station continues to operate.

After his arrest, WJCN was sold to Carey & Tammy Carroll. The station continues to operate as an independent, religious-themed broadcast outlet serving 600,000 households in rural Georgia and Alabama.