A Hinsdale man was sentenced to at least seven years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to possessing at least 15 images of child sexual abuse.

Gary A. Coonrod, 47, was arrested in West Virginia in March, days after Hinsdale police found illicit images on his hard drive and interviewed him about it, according to a police affidavit filed in Cheshire County Superior Court. Police said shortly before his arrest that they believed he was on the run.

Coonrod pleaded guilty Monday to 15 counts of possession of child sexual abuse images, a felony, according to court documents. He had been held without bail since his arrest.

He was sentenced to nine to 30 years in N.H. State Prison, though two of the nine years are suspended on the condition that he comply with whatever sex offender treatment the N.H. Department of Corrections recommends, so he could be released after seven.

In addition, a suspended prison sentence of 7½ to 15 years will hang over Coonrod for the next 40 years. He will not have to serve that time so long as he remains on good behavior, but a judge could impose the sentence if Coonrod commits another crime.

Coonrod’s girlfriend came across a file on his hard drive containing the illicit images and told her therapist, who reported it to police, according to an affidavit written by Hinsdale Police Chief Todd Faulkner.

After obtaining a search warrant, police found explicit images of prepubescent girls, including some who looked as young as 2 or 3, according to Faulkner’s affidavit and the charges Coonrod admitted to. Some images showed men sexually abusing girls.

Speaking to police in March, Coonrod said he had downloaded the images several years ago while living in West Virginia, according to the affidavit.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PCunoBoothKS