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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


Contact: Emily Bolton
Office: (804)786-0147 
Cell: (804)839-9024 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


RICHMOND (April 16, 2015) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced that Benjamin Baker Thompson, age 22, of North Chesterfield, Virginia, pled guilty today to three counts of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment with 8 years suspended in Chesterfield County Circuit Court by Judge David Johnson. 


Evidence in court documents showed that the defendant was identified through an undercover investigation by a law-enforcement officer into the trading of child pornography over peer-to-peer networks on the Internet.  The officer came into contact with an individual who was sharing child pornography over the Internet was subsequently able to download numerous files containing child pornography directly from the individual's computer.  Through further investigation, the officer determined that the files originated from a computer located in the defendant's residence in North Chesterfield, Virginia. Based on this information, the officer obtained a search warrant for the defendant's residence. During the search, the defendant voluntarily admitted seeking out and downloading child pornography from the Internet.  A subsequent forensic examination of the defendant's computers confirmed the presence of child pornography depicting prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.


"The trading and possession of child pornography significantly contributes to the cycle of abuse that young victims must endure," said Attorney General Herring. "Through his actions, the defendant played a role in further victimizing these children.  I want to extend my thanks to the investigating officers in this case and to those who work tirelessly to protect children both here in Virginia and elsewhere." 


Pursuant to Virginia code ยง 2.2-511(vi), the Attorney General is empowered to prosecute any "violation of the criminal laws involving child pornography and sexually explicit visual material involving children." Assistant Attorney General Tommy Johnstone of the Virginia Attorney General's Office prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth, with cooperation from the Chesterfield County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. The case was investigated by officers with the Richmond Police Department as part of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.


A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the Attorney General of Virginia at www.ag.virginia.gov.


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