West Virginia Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison on Child Pornography Charges
WASHINGTON – A Cross Lanes, W.Va., man has been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin for producing, receiving and possessing child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Charles T. Miller of the Southern District of West Virginia announced today.
David A. Hicks, 38, was sentenced today in Charleston, W.Va., to 30 years in prison and a lifetime term of supervised release following his prison term.
On Jan. 23, 2007, following a five-day jury trial, Hicks was found guilty on two counts of producing child pornography, two additional counts of possessing child pornography, and one count of receiving child pornography over the Internet. The trial was held in U.S. District Court in Charleston, W.Va., with U.S. District Court Judge Goodwin presiding.
The evidence presented at trial established that Hicks, a father of two girls under the age of 10, frequently had his older daughter’s friends spend the night as guests. Five of these juveniles, girls between the ages of nine and 12, testified at trial. During their testimony, the girls stated Hicks frequently took photos of them while they were at the home, commented on his ability to see through their clothing, walked in on them while they were changing or bathing, watched and photographed them through the blinds of the home while they were swimming in his pool, and physically touched more than one of them inappropriately. Many of the photos taken by Hicks were located on his computer in a special archive folder. The photos were of his daughter’s friends either nude or partially nude.
The evidence also established that Hicks is a trained computer expert who maintained a computer in his bedroom that had four separate hard drives. These hard drives, in addition to numerous compact disks, contained thousands of images and movies of prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Forensic analysis of this electronic media revealed Hicks searched for sexually explicit movie clips of children using a peer-to-peer file sharing program, and then downloaded the movie clips to his computer. Hicks forfeited all of his computer equipment associated with these crimes.
This case was investigated by special agents of the FBI. The forensic analysis was conducted by the FBI’s Computer Analysis Response Team. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Steve Grocki of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Forbes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.
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