Parkersburg Man Convicted of Accessing Child Pornography on Library Computer

Updated 22 weeks ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A 41-year-old Wood County resident was convicted of accessing child pornography with intent to view it and attempting to persuade a person to destroy evidence after a two-day bench trial in Huntington, West Virginia, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced.  Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers found that Matthew John Wiggins, of Parkersburg, West Virginia, knowingly accessed child pornography with intent to view it while he was logged on to a computer located at the Parkersburg and Wood County Library on January 16 and 17, 2013. 

Chief Judge Chambers also found that on the eve of trial, Wiggins sent a letter to a person attempting to persuade that person to destroy a library card that Wiggins knew would be important evidence in his trial.

The investigation began when an Information Security Officer with the West Virginia Office of Information Security and Controls, an agency that monitors state computers for illegal activity, discovered that someone at the Parkersburg and Wood County Library was downloading child pornography images on a library computer on January 16 and 17, 2013.  The Office of Information Security and Controls was able to trace the IP Address to a computer that was located on the main floor of the library. The Information Security Officer reported the illegal activity to the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  On January 17, 2013, a member of the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and two Parkersburg Police Department detectives went to the library and found Wiggins sitting at the computer on which he had downloaded child pornography on January 16 and 17.  A forensic examination performed on that computer revealed that Wiggins accessed, with intent to view, over 50 images of child pornography.  

Wiggins was previously convicted in federal court in the Southern District of West Virginia in 2000 for knowingly possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment.  Within 11 days of being released from prison, he was found to be in possession of a computer, in violation of the terms and conditions of his supervised release.  At that time, Wiggins admitted to using software designed to delete data on the computer he had at his residence.  During Wiggins’ second term of supervised release, he was caught viewing pictures of naked young females on a computer located at the West Virginia University Parkersburg library and was sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months.

Wiggins faces a minimum mandatory 10 years’ and up to 40 years’ imprisonment, as well as a lifetime of supervised release.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, 2014, in Huntington, West Virginia.

The investigation of Wiggins was conducted by the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with the assistance of the West Virginia Office of Information Security and Controls, the Parkersburg Police Department, the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa Johnston and Jennifer Rada were in charge of the prosecution.   

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood.  In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.

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