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Press Release

Charleston Pedophile Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison

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

Defendant possessed images of child pornography including ones he took himself

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today that Stephen Wayne Laton, Jr., 40, of Charleston, W.Va., was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment followed by 20 years of supervised release for possession of child pornography. The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., in Charleston.

Laton admitted to possessing sexually explicit photographs of a minor under the age of 12, including photos that he took of himself engaging in sexual contact with the child.  He kept the pornographic images on a computer and USB drive at his residence in Charleston.

“This defendant’s crimes are horrific,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin. “Adults who prey on and victimize children in this most horrible way must be identified, arrested, prosecuted and punished.  We will not stand by and allow this kind of perversion to go undetected or unpunished.  This conviction and the imposition of the sentence today is a victory for justice and for the safety of our children.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald handled the prosecution. 

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

Updated January 7, 2015