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Former Marketing professor Scott Ward, who pleaded guilty to four counts of child pornography and one count of lying to the U.S. Department of State in 2008, faces resentencing following the decision of a federal appeals court Wednesday.

Last September, a district court sentenced Ward to 25 years in prison and assessed a $100,000 fine for the five counts. Before the sentence was remanded Wednesday, Ward was to serve it concurrently with a 15-year sentence he is already serving.

According to court documents, Ward’s 25-year sentence was a “general sentence” based on all five counts together. Ward argued that the district court should have assigned sentences to each individual count because the 25-year sentence exceeds the maximum for some counts and is therefore illegal. The case will be sent back to district court for resentencing.

“As a result of the general nature of the sentence, neither we nor Ward can determine whether it was legal as to particular counts,” the appellate judgment reads.

Penn President Amy Gutmann announced Ward’s departure from the University shortly after his arrest in August 2006. Following a trip to Brazil, a routine search at Dulles International Airport in Virginia revealed child pornography on his computer, as well as a digital camcorder and DVDs showing Ward engaged in sex acts with an underage Brazilian boy.

Investigators also found child pornography in Ward’s Huntsman Hall office in September 2006, and in 2007, he pleaded guilty to producing child pornography for importation into the country. He was serving a 15-year jail sentence when prosecutors indicted him on three new counts — two child pornography counts and one of lying to the State Department. Several months later, two more child porn-related charges were added.

Wednesday’s ruling pertains to the five charges together.

Ward, who also allegedly made frequent trips to Thailand for sex tourism, started molesting a teenage boy — who court documents dubbed “J.D.” — in Fortaleza, Brazil. Ward gave gifts to J.D.’s “destitute” family in exchange for sexual favors from the boy, according to authorities.

In summer 2006, Ward tried to secure a visa for J.D. so the boy and his family could visit Ward at his house on Cape Cod, Mass. The State Department originally denied the visa because of fears that the boy and his mother would attempt to stay in the United States.

Ward then deceived government officials by taking pictures of the family in front of an upscale home and setting up bank accounts to indicate “relative wealth,” according to then-U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan. The State Department granted the visa the same week as Ward’s arrest in 2006.

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