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Georgia magician gets 20 years for child porn charges

Jeffrey Alan Wasley

Jeffrey Alan Wasley

ATLANTA -- A former children's magician and one-time church youth counselor was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to stalking young boys in public restrooms at metro Atlanta department stores and secretly taping them.

Jeffrey Alan Wasley, a 39-year-old Kennesaw man who went by the stage name "Magic Jeff," was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release. His attorneys struck a deal with prosecutors in a March plea deal that called for a lighter sentence than the 30 years he could have faced if he had gone to trial.

Wasley targeted children as young as 4 in stores such as Target and Walmart, as well as a suburban Atlanta amusement park, by waiting for them to enter a restroom without an adult, prosecutors said. He would often offer to help them and then videotape them when they used the bathroom, according to the indictment.

There was no evidence of any other contact with the minors, prosecutors said.

Authorities were tipped off to Wasley in July 2008 after two brothers aged 5 and 7 reported his activity in a Target to their mother, who notified store security. The officers identified Wasley from surveillance cameras and days later followed him to his car and noted the tag number.

Cobb County authorities then got a warrant, searched his home and found at least six videos he had produced of boys in public restrooms, prosecutors said. They also found thousands of other child pornography images that he had downloaded from the Internet.

When federal agents tried to arrest Wasley in December 2008, he barricaded himself in his garage and sought to kill himself by slashing his throat and wrists. Emergency responders were able to save Wasley's life, and he pleaded guilty in March after his lawyer decided against claiming Wasley was mentally ill.