Chesterfield man pleads guilty to child pornography
from staff reports)
Published: April 1, 2011
CHESTERFIELD - A Chesterfield County man pleaded guilty yesterday to 22 counts of child pornography possession yesterday.
Joseph E. Ludwig, 51, pleaded guilty to the charges during a plea hearing before Chesterfield County Circuit Court Judge Harold W. Burgess Jr., according to the Virginia Attorney General's office.
The plea agreement requires that Ludwig undergo a sex offender evaluation before returning to court for sentencing. The agreement also calls for a term of active prison time of between 13 and 27 years. Upon completion of his sentence, Ludwig will be placed on probation and must register with the Virginia Sex Offender Registry.
At the time of the offense, Ludwig was on supervised probation and, as a result of the plea, he may face additional penalties in other Virginia jurisdictions.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the case illustrates how law enforcement organizations are effectively coordinating their resources to effectively combat child pornography. "This case drew from the expertise of multiple law enforcement agencies and nonprofit organizations," Cuccinelli said.
The evidence presented at the hearing showed that Ludwig offered to distribute images and videos of child pornography to a special agent of the Virginia State Police. Shortly thereafter, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children presented evidence to the Richmond Police Department that a man, later identified as Ludwig, had uploaded images of child erotica to teen social networking sites. Ludwig acknowledged he created these social networking accounts to help him acquire child pornography.
The Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force issued a search warrant at Ludwig's residence in Chesterfield County on July 16, 2010, and seized his computer. A subsequent forensic examination revealed that Ludwig had saved, and organized by age of the victim, images and videos of child pornography on his computer.
The case was investigated by the Northern and Southern Virginia ICAC Task Forces. Detective Kevin Hiner of the Richmond Police Department and Keith Vincent of the Chesterfield Police Department investigated for the Southern Virginia ICAC. Special Agent Ron Jedrey investigated on behalf of the Northern Virginia ICAC and the Virginia State Police. Assistant Attorney General Chip Muir of the attorney general's office prosecuted the case on behalf of the commonwealth.