Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

January 8, 2014

Mercer man faces 20 years for possession of child porn

BLUEFIELD — A 60-year-old Mercer County pedophile faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography,

  Johnny Richard Rowe, of Bluewell, entered a guilty plea on Jan. 6 before Senior United States District Court Judge David A. Faber in Bluefield, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Tuesday.

On June 19, 2013, Rowe possessed pictures of prepubescent minors having sex or performing sexual acts, Goodwin said. Rowe possessed the images depicting child pornography on his personal computer.

 When arrested, Rowe was charged with 133 counts of receiving and possessing material showing minors in sexual acts. He was jailed in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond, and was later indicted in July 2013 by a federal grand jury in Beckley.

Rowe is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12. He could receive up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Johnston is in charge of the prosecution.

This case is being brought as part of an ongoing initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse in the Southern District of West Virginia, Goodwin said.

Rowe is currently being held at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.

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