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Gearhart man sentenced in child pornography case

Polan, 39, sentenced to nearly six years
By Jack Heffernan

The Daily Astorian

Published on August 10, 2018 12:59PM

Samuel Roy Polan

Samuel Roy Polan

A Gearhart man was sentenced Thursday to nearly six years in prison for child pornography crimes.

Samuel Roy Polan, 39, compelled at least two children under 12 years old to photograph or record sexually explicit activity. After being indicted in February on 10 counts, including some that alleged he attempted to sell the material, Polan pleaded no contest in July to two counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct as part of a plea deal with the Clatsop County District Attorney’s Office.

Each count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of nearly six years in prison. As part of the plea deal, Polan agreed to have an open sentencing hearing and let a judge determine whether to run the minimum sentences concurrently or consecutively.

Judge Richard Baldwin — a former Oregon Supreme Court justice who spent Thursday filling in for Circuit Court Judge Paula Brownhill — sentenced Polan concurrently, saying it was a “very long” time considering the circumstances of the case.

Polan used Tango, a messaging app, to compel the children to take sexually explicit photos. If they refused, Polan made threats such as contacting their parents, Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Brown said.

“He used various tactics that were particularly heinous in my view,” Brown said.

A detective in Oklahoma notified Oregon State Police of an investigation into Polan’s contact with a child there, prompting the local probe. Polan likely will face additional charges in Oklahoma and possibly Michigan and North Carolina, Brown said.

Polan has two prior sex crime convictions, including for third-degree rape — involving sex with a teenage girl — in Clatsop County in 2010. He also was convicted in a 2004 case involving sexual contact with a minor relative in Texas.

“He obviously has a very serious problem with attraction to children,” Brown said.

Polan was sexually abused by his father as a young child and later bounced from foster home to foster home, said James von Boeckmann, his court-appointed attorney. His 2004 conviction came after he had reunited with members of his family.

“It is not a problem of his own devise,” von Boeckmann said.

Polan apologized Thursday for his actions.

“I don’t know what caused me to do it, and I’ll look for the help I need,” he said.

Baldwin pointed out that Polan has had opportunities in the past to seek treatment in prison.

“You can’t just say you want it if you don’t engage and make your best effort to get something out of treatment,” the judge said. “With your record, you’re going to be in for the rest of your life the next conviction, I’m sure, if the judge has that opportunity.”


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