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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Friday, August 12, 2016

Parkersburg man pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

Defendant faces up to 20 years in Federal prison

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Parkersburg man pleaded guilty today to possessing over 600 images of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. John Leslie Hess, 64, entered his guilty plea to possession of child pornography.

Hess admitted that on March 2, 2015, he possessed images of prepubescent minors engaged in sexual acts. The images were contained on his personal computers and multiple media devices found at his residence in Parkersburg. The investigation revealed that Hess was using a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download, receive, and distribute child pornography. 

Hess faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on November 16, 2016.

The FBI, the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Parkersburg Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

This case is being brought as part of an ongoing initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 12, 2016