Federal prosecutors are recommending a nine-year prison sentence for Bernie Ward and they are belittling his claim that he was just doing research for a book when he was caught sending child pornography online, the Chronicle reports. Ward, 57, will be sentenced Thursday by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. “No evidence supports (Ward’s) contention that he engaged in his behavior to further a journalistic investigation,” Justice Department lawyers said in papers filed Aug. 20 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. In fact, they said, new evidence shows that Ward shared graphic images of child pornography with a group of 10 people for about a year. While prosecutors are seeking a nine-year sentence, Ward’s attorney said he will ask for five years.