Imprisoned former Craig Beach police chief asks judge for 'mercy'
A former Craig Beach Police Chief imprisoned for a child pornography conviction is asking a federal judge to set him free and let him go home because he worried about contracting COVID-19 and concerned for his family.
In a hand-written letter asking for mercy, 38-year-old Andrew Soloman has filed a Motion for Compassionate Release with the U.S. District Court.
Such filings from federal inmates have become common around the country as 2,066 inmates and 359 staff members have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. There have been 41 federal inmate deaths.
Soloman is not scheduled to be released from Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in Connecticut for another two years after Judge John Adams handed down a five-year sentence in 2018 after Soloman pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography.
The case involved a juvenile female who, according to authorities, Soloman met when he came to her home in 2017 to investigate reports about harassment and a runaway.
The girl told investigators she sat in Soloman's cruiser for several hours and talked. He provided her with his work email address, according to court documents.
The two continued to communicate via text and email, according to prosecutors.
An affidavit states that the teen said Soloman told her that he was married with children and that he "had a foot fetish".
After the victim sent Soloman sexually explicit photographs of herself, Soloman responded by sending sexually explicit photographs via his work email account, according to court documents.
According to a court filing, Soloman said that "about half" of the photographs were inappropriate and eventually confessed to sending her two photos of himself.
During a search of the Craig Beach Police Department Soloman's phone and laptop were confiscated.
Court records say Soloman received images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including an iPhone which contained child pornography.
In his letter to Judge Adams, Soloman states that FCI Danbury was one of three federal prisons to experience “a large amount of positive coronavirus cases” and prison officials told him that inmates may ask the judge who sentenced them to transfer them to home confinement.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons reports that as of Tuesday, FCI Danbury has reported 23 inmates, and 15 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus. One inmate has died.
Soloman writes that his wife continues to work at a business that remains open because it is essential during the pandemic closures. Solomon says because their childcare center has been closed during the virus crisis, caring for their twin children have brought safety concerns for the three-year-old children, and caused hardship for his wife.
In his letter, Soloman also mentions the long-distance his wife must travel between their home in Warren and the prison in Connecticut.
“What I am asking for is your mercy and the mercy of the court to authorize me to home confinement to serve the remaining part of my sentence in the confines of my established residence in Warren, Ohio,” writes Soloman. “I made a very regretful mistake in 2017 but that in no way defines the person I am.
Soloman told the judge that he does not pose a threat to the community, calling himself “devoted” to his wife and children.
As of Wednesday morning, Judge Adams has not responded to Soloman’s motion.