Former APS para gets back-to-back 15 month sentences for child pornography

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, August 31, 2023

A former Austin Public Schools paraprofessional accused and charged with child pornography was sentenced to prison Thursday in Mower County District Court.

Vincent Vaughn Askelson, 31, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for felony possession of pornographic work involving minors and an additional 15 months for a second charge of the same count with six days credit for time served. The counts are to run consecutively.

In April of this year, Askelson entered into a plea deal with the state in which he pleaded guilty to two felony counts of possession of pornographic work involving minors. One of those counts was amended from felony dissemination of pornographic work involving minors.

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Askelson was arrested in October of 2022 after an Austin Police Department detective received a tip from the Internet Crimes Against Children on Aug. 8, 2022, that Snapchat had alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of a user who had uploaded, shared or saved 19 files suspected of containing pornographic works involving minors on June 1, 2022. 

During the investigation law enforcement discovered explicit files involving children on both computers and cellphones belonging to Askelson. When questioned Askelson said that he had visited the “dark web” and had admitted that he had seen material.

He also said he wasn’t trying to find the material and that it had just popped up.  He also denied downloading material.