Kanawha County man sentenced to over six years in federal prison for receiving child pornography

Updated 5 weeks ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Kanawha County man was sentenced to six years and three months in federal prison for a child pornography crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.

Stephen Lee Rhodes, 40, of Clendenin, previously pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., imposed the sentence. Rhodes was also ordered to serve 20 years on federal supervised release after completion of his prison term. Additionally, Rhodes will be required to register as a sex offender.

Rhodes admitted that on June 4, 2015, he received a video on his computer of a prepubescent minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Rhodes also admitted to possessing a large collection of child pornography images and videos contained on computers at his Clendenin residence. The investigation uncovered that Rhodes was using a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download, receive, and distribute child pornography images and videos. Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized computers and other digital media storage devices containing child pornography from his residence before arresting Rhodes in March 2017. 

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Parkersburg Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their work on this investigation.

“This office remains dedicated to prosecuting child predators who search the Internet targeting innocent children,” stated U.S. Attorney Stuart. “We will continue working tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to seek out and bring to justice those who mercilessly exploit children.”    

Assistant United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston is in charge of the prosecution.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by 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 www.justice.gov/psc

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