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Press Release

Putnam County Man Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Receiving Child Pornography

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Putnam County man was sentenced today to six years in prison for a child pornography crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Stephen Craig Sluss, 59, of Scott Depot, West Virginia, previously pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography. United States District Court Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence. Sluss was ordered to serve 15 years on federal supervised release after completion of his prison term, and will also be required to register as a sex offender.  Sluss was also ordered to pay a special assessment of $5,000.

“These are violent, heinous, disgusting crimes,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Child sexual exploitation investigations and prosecutions are a priority for my office.  Sluss’s sentence reflects the seriousness of these crimes.  I greatly appreciate the excellent and hard work of the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the United States Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations.”

Sluss admitted that on April 1, 2017, he received videos of prepubescent minors engaged in sex acts. The videos were received by Sluss via the Internet.  The investigation revealed that Sluss was using a web-based chatting service to access and download child pornography,   Sluss further admitted to possessing over 600 images and videos of minors engaged in sex acts, and that some of those images involved sadistic conduct.

Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa G. Johnston and Jennifer Rada Herrald handled the prosecution.

The 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 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 August 27, 2018

Project Safe Childhood