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Man pleads guilty in porn case

January 26, 2001

Man pleads guilty in porn case



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


A Clear Spring man who tried to get two teenage girls to pose nude for him last summer at Greenbrier State Park was handed a three-month suspended jail sentence Thursday.

Darryl Blaine Shanholtz pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor solicitation for child pornography in Washington County Circuit Court.

Shanholtz, 50, of 11016 Garrison Hollow Road, will be on probation for the next five years and during that time must continue sexual offender counseling in Frederick.

Buoyed by family, associates and friends who attended Thursday's hearing, Shanholtz told Judge Frederick Wright he was sorry for the July 18 incident involving two girls, ages 15 and 16.

"It will never happen again," Shanholtz said.

Wright acknowledged the supporters and all the good things Shanholtz has done in his 25 years of working with youth.

He stopped short of granting a request for probation before judgment, which was offered for consideration by Shanholtz's attorney, Joseph Chukla.

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Past accomplishments brought out in court Thursday included Shanholtz' work as an assistant pastor at area churches, most recently St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Martinsburg, W.Va.

"He has done a lot of good things but good people do bad acts," Wright said. "What I have to determine is if he is a danger to others."

A child protective services caseworker from the Washington County Department of Social Services told Wright that an investigation was done of all children who were in foster care with Shanholtz and his wife during the past 10 years.

"There were no reports of any inappropriate behavior," the caseworker said in court.

As part of the sentence, Wright mandated that Shanholtz no longer be a foster parent and that he not be alone with any child under age 18.

Shanholtz was charged by Park Ranger Robert Haney with two counts of felony child pornography, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.

In the charging documents, Haney said Shanholtz approached the two girls and told them he was a modeling photographer.

Shanholtz tried to persuade them to accompany him to a restricted area of the state park east of Boonsboro where there would be no other people around, charging documents said.

There he wanted the girls to pose nude and semi-nude while tied to a tree, according to charging documents.

Haney said in his charging documents that the girls were told they would be paid $500 if they posed as Shanholtz wanted.

The maximum penalty for each count of felony solicitation of a minor to pose nude/child pornography is 10 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

In court Thursday, one felony count was dropped while the other was amended to a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

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