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Press Release

Colonial Heights Elementary School Aide and Bus Driver Pleads Guilty to Receiving Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man pleaded guilty today to receipt of child pornography.

According to court documents, Richard Jerod Whitley, Jr., 37, was engaged in the on-line trading of child sexual abuse material. Attributed with thousands of images, some of Whitley’s collection contained sadistic and masochistic content as well as material with toddlers and infants engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Whitley was an elementary school bus driver and school aide at a Colonial Heights elementary school.

Whitley pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19, 2023. He faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Jamar K. Walker accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Osyf is prosecuting the case.

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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:23-cr-27.

Updated May 19, 2023

Project Safe Childhood