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Press Release

Virginia Beach Man Sentenced to Prison for Producing Child Pornography

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

NORFOLK, Va. – Robert Lee Petty, 43, of Virginia Beach, was sentenced today to 17 1/2 years in prison for production of child pornography. Petty was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release to be completed upon his release from prison.

“Production of child pornography is one of the most offensive and serious crimes in the entire criminal code,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “While these crimes can be very difficult to talk about, we must continue to bring awareness to these prosecutions with the goal of protecting our children from sexual predators by deterring others from committing similar crimes.”

Petty pleaded guilty on Sept. 1, 2016. According to court documents, Petty forced a child to produce child pornography for him to view for approximately five years, beginning when the child was 11 years old. Several of the videos depicted Petty in the room when the production was taking place.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi prosecuted 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 the United States Attorneys' 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:16-cr-119.

Updated February 6, 2017

Project Safe Childhood