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Press Release

Putnam County Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Offense

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Hurricane man was sentenced to federal prison for a child pornography offense, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Christopher Charles Hirst, 26, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for receipt of child pornography. Following his release from prison, Hirst will serve a term of 20 years on supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.

“Predators like Hirst are a parent’s worst nightmare,” United States Attorney Mike Stuart said. “My team and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners are committed to protecting West Virginia’s children. We will bring the full force of the law against child sex offenders.”

Hirst previously admitted that beginning in approximately August 2018 he began a relationship with a 14-year-old girl from Putnam County. During the course of that relationship, Hirst repeatedly asked the minor to send him sexually explicit photographs via the Snapchat app. When the minor ultimately sent the images, Hirst preserved those images without the minor’s knowledge. Hirst also admitted to taking several sexually explicit images of the minor in person, including one depicting them engaged in a sexual act. 

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald handled 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


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Updated June 10, 2020

Project Safe Childhood