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Press Release

Man Sentenced for Producing Images of Child Sexual Abuse

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

NORFOLK, Va. – A Keswick man was sentenced today to 22 years in prison for his role in producing images of child sexual abuse and attempting to meet a minor for sex.

According to court documents, in 2019, Bryan Wesley Petitt, 33, engaged in sexually explicit communications with an undercover agent he believed to be a 14-year-old minor. Petitt drove from Charlottesville to military housing in Norfolk in order to engage in sex with the girl. Upon his arrest, law enforcement officers discovered images of child sexual abuse on his phone. Investigators later learned that Petitt produced one of the images.

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

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Gregory Scovel, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk Field Office; Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C.; and Larry D. Boone, Chief of Norfolk Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Heck prosecuted the case.

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. 2:20-cr-16.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated December 14, 2020

Project Safe Childhood