Two Wheeling area men indicted on child pornography charges
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – A federal grand jury returned indictments today alleging that two Wheeling area men, including a local high school teacher, were discovered in possession of child pornography, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Duane David Will, Jr., 33, of Moundsville, West Virginia, is alleged to have repeatedly downloaded images of child pornography in April 2014 while employed as a teacher at John Marshall High School in Marshall County, West Virginia. Will is charged with one count of “Possession of Child Pornography” following an investigation by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00.
An investigation by the Wheeling, West Virginia Police Department, the West Virginia State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that Bernie George Baier, 51, of Wheeling, obtained a wireless Internet password from his neighbor. Baier is alleged to have repeatedly used the neighbor’s wireless Internet connection to download images of child pornography throughout late 2014. Baier was previously convicted in September 1995 of the felony offense of “Gross Sexual Imposition” in the Court of Common Pleas of Belmont County, Ohio. Baier is charged with one count of “Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography,” for which he faces between 15 and 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00. He is further charged with one count of “Possession of Child Pornography,” for which he faces between 10 and 20 years in prison and fine of up to $250,000.00.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Vogrin is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government.