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Attorney General of Virginia

Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Lara Sisselman, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




~ Sentence follows successful prosecution and forensic investigation by AG Herring's team and law enforcement partners ~

RICHMOND (July 14, 2017) -  Joel Allen Kelley, 21, of Hanover County pled guilty today to four counts of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months of active imprisonment, with an additional 31 years and 6 months suspended.  Upon his release, Kelley will be placed on supervised release indefinitely and will be required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives or works. Attorney General Mark R. Herring, whose team successfully prosecuted the case, announced the result after Kelley was sentenced by Hanover County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Kelly.


"My team and I are fighting the scourge of child pornography every single day because nothing could be more important than the safety and health of our children," said Attorney General Herring. "This is another strong sentence that will put a dangerous predator behind bars. I'm really proud of the great work done by my team of prosecutors and investigators, and all our law enforcement partners in this matter."


Evidence presented in court showed that Kelley was identified by law enforcement after sharing files of child pornography with undercover investigators from the Hanover County Sheriff's Office and the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force over a peer-to-peer file sharing network. Investigators were able to identify Kelley through Internet service records. Based on this information, investigators obtained and executed a search warrant on Kelley's Hanover County residence, where they seized Kelley's computer and several thumb drives. Attorney General Herring's Computer Forensics Unit forensically examined the computer and found it to contain child pornography and peer-to-peer file-sharing software. A thumb drive seized from Kelley's bedroom also contained files of child pornography.


The hundreds of child pornography images recovered depict children as young as 6 years old being sexually abused, some of which have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as abuse victims in prior law enforcement investigations.


Assistant Attorney General Stacey Rohrs of the Virginia Attorney General's Office prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth, with cooperation from the Hanover County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. The case was investigated by the Hanover County Sheriff's Office and the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with investigative support provided by the Office of the Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit.  


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