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Press Release

Charleston Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that Christopher Ryan Christian Counts, 28, of Charleston, pled guilty to possession of child pornography.

“Egregious crime,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Counts is a repeat offender with two prior sex offense convictions in state court. We will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who prey on our children.”

Counts admitted that on December 31, 2019, he possessed 259 images and 14 videos of child pornography, many of which depicted prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Some of the images and videos contained scenes depicting minors and infants engaged in sadistic or masochistic conduct.  Counts has two prior sex offense convictions in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Counts faces up to twenty years in prison when sentenced on March 29, 2021.

The West Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted the investigation.   Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney Julie M. White is handling the prosecution.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s 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 those who sexually exploit children, and 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 Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-00130.


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Updated December 9, 2020

Project Safe Childhood