Bond granted for man arrested on child porn charges

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: August 30, 2018 | 12:30 p.m. 

PRINCE GEORGE – A Prince George man who was arrested on over three dozen felony charges related to child pornography has been released on bond, according to court records.

62-year-old county resident James Paul Berry, III was granted bond during an appearance in Prince George County Circuit Court on August 2 after being arrested in July at his place of work after being indicted by a county grand jury on 40 counts of possessing child pornography, a Class 6 felony, with a second and subsequent violation being a Class 5 felony.

Berry was taken to Riverside Regional Jail where he was held until a bond hearing earlier this month saw a judge release him on a $15,000 secured bond. Court records show, as part of that bond agreement, he is under pre-trial supervision, must waive his Fourth Amendment right as he is barred from possessing “all electronic devices,” and he is prohibited from owning a computer.

During the hearing, the Commonwealth argued against Berry receiving bond, citing the nature and seriousness of the charges and prosecutors believed Berry to be “a flight risk because he did have resources to flee and he did not have ties to the community.”

While prosecutors at the Prince George Commonwealth’s Attorney Office couldn’t speak directly about the allegations against Berry, officials did confirm Berry will be returning to court on September 6 to advise the defendant about his attorney status.

“He had an attorney that appeared for the bond hearing only,” Prince George Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan Fierro said. “He had not retained that attorney for the case.”

According to state law, “Any person who knowingly (i) reproduces by any means, including by computer, sells, gives away, distributes, electronically transmits, displays, purchases, or possesses with intent to sell, give away, distribute, transmit, or display child pornography or (ii) commands, entreats, or otherwise attempts to persuade another person to send, submit, transfer or provide to him any child pornography in order to gain entry into a group, association, or assembly of persons engaged in trading or sharing child pornography shall be punished by not less than five years nor more than 20 years in a state correctional facility.”

The law continues, “Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation under this subsection shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years in a state correctional facility, five years of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment. The mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment prescribed for violations of this section shall be served consecutively with any other sentence.”

While the details of this case remain unknown, the charge being levied against Berry also states the venue for a prosecution under this charge may “lie in the jurisdiction where the unlawful act occurs or where any child pornography is produced, reproduced, found, stored, received, or possessed in violation.” 

Berry will return to court on September 2 for an attorney hearing.

Copyright 2018 by Womack Publishing
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