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Press Release

Former Nicholas County Deputy Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Jarrod Steven Bennett, 38, of Mt. Nebo, a former Nicholas County deputy sheriff, pleaded guilty today to production of child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on or about March 2, 2023, while employed as a deputy with the Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department, Bennett recorded two videos using his cell phone of a minor female sleeping on a couch. Bennett admitted that he knew the girl to be under the age of 12 when he recorded the videos. In both videos, the girl is face down on the couch with a blanket covering her torso and her bare legs exposed. In the first video, Bennett filmed the girl as he walked toward her and zoomed the camera to focus on her buttocks. Bennett admitted that he continued to walk toward her as he recorded the second video and filmed his exposed penis and him masturbating near the sleeping girl.

Bennett further admitted to saving the videos to his Snapchat account, transmitting them over the internet in the process. Bennett has since been terminated as a deputy.

Bennett is scheduled to be sentenced on June 26, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Bennett must also register as a sex offender.

“The defendant exploited a minor child under his care and betrayed her and the community he swore to serve and protect with his deplorable actions,” said United States Attorney Will Thompson.

“This was a terrible crime, and that it was committed by someone we considered a brother-in-arms makes it so much worse,” said Nicholas County Sheriff William F. Nunley. “We will never turn a blind eye to anyone sworn to uphold the law in this great State or Country.”

Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the West Virginia State Police-Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), and the Beckley Police Department.

United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's 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

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. 2:23-cr-144. 



Updated March 7, 2024

Project Safe Childhood