Charleston man pleads guilty in child pornography case

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Police Department was involved in the investigation of a Charleston man who pleaded guilty Wednesday to a child pornography crime, the United States Attorney said.

Jeffrey Scott Beard, 37, pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography, U.S. Attorney Carol Casto said.

Beard admitted that on Oct. 23, 2016, he received images of pre-pubescent minors engaged in sex acts. The images were received on Beard’s computer and thumb drives located at his residence in Charleston, Casto said.

The investigation revealed that Beard was using a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download, receive, and distribute images and videos of child pornography. Beard further admitted to possessing over 600 images and videos of minors engaged in sex acts, Casto said.

Beard faces at least five and up to 20 years in federal prison and will be sentenced on Jan. 11. Upon his release from prison, he will be required to serve a term of supervised release of at least five years and up to life and will be required to register as a sex offender.

The FBI, the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Parkersburg Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

The case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.

COMMENTS