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Chesterfield County man sentenced to 44 years in prison for possession of child pornography

RICHMOND (October 17, 2011) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced today that a Chesterfield County man was sentenced to 44 years in prison on 22 counts of possession of child pornography. Joseph Ludwig, age 51, of Richmond, was sentenced by Judge Harold M. Burgess of Chesterfield County Circuit Court.  Ludwig will serve 22 of those 44 years in prison, with the other 22 years suspended. Upon being discharged from prison, he will be under supervised release for 20 of those 22 remaining years.  Ludwig had previously entered guilty pleas to the charges on March 31, 2011, and remained incarcerated while awaiting his sentence. 

Evidence at sentencing showed that Ludwig had offered to distribute pornographic images and videos of children to an undercover special agent of the Virginia State Police.  Additional evidence from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children forwarded to the Richmond Police Department revealed that an individual, later identified as Ludwig, had uploaded images of child pornography to teen social networking sites.

In July 2010, officers with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force executed a search warrant at Ludwig's residence in Chesterfield County, where they seized computer equipment.  The Chesterfield Police Department conducted a forensic examination on Ludwig's computer and found that he had saved images and videos of child pornography onto his computer desktop, which he had also organized according to the age range of the children and the nature of the sexual conduct depicted in the file.  During an interview with officers, Ludwig acknowledged that he had also created social networking accounts to help him acquire child pornography.

"I'm pleased that this defendant, who exploited the victims by collecting images of their sexual abuse for his personal pleasure, has been brought to justice," said the attorney general. "Once again, this case highlights the effective work of Virginia's Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, which include dozens of state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations.  Such cooperation is essential in the continuing effort to protect children in Virginia and across the country from these vile predators." 

This case was investigated by the Northern and Southern Virginia ICAC Task forces. Det. Kevin Hiner of the Richmond Police Department and Det. Keith Vincent of the Chesterfield Police Department investigated for the Southern Virginia ICAC.  Special Agent Mike Jedrey investigated on behalf of the Northern Virginia ICAC and the Virginia State Police. Assistant Attorney General Chip Muir of the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia prosecuted the case on behalf of the commonwealth. 

The attorney general would also like to thank the Chesterfield County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for its assistance during the case.

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A copy of this news release may be found on the attorney general's web site here.

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