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Man sentenced in child pornography case

James Michael Whitacre Jr., 33, of Hagerstown, was ordered to serve six years in prison on 13 counts of child pornography posses

James Michael Whitacre Jr., 33, of Hagerstown, was ordered to serve six years in prison on 13 counts of child pornography posses

April 14, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man was ordered Wednesday to serve six years in prison on 13 counts of child pornography possession.

James Michael Whitacre Jr., 33, of 322 S. Mulberry St., was sentenced by Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III to a combination of consecutive and concurrent sentences on 13 counts of child pornography possession, amounting to a six-year sentence.

On Thursday, Washington County State's Attorney Charles P. Strong Jr. said, "We feel these types of cases are extremely serious for a community." Strong added that his office is aggressive with cases such as Whitacre's.

Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael prosecuted the case. Assistant Public Defender Eric Reed represented Whitacre, according to court documents.

On Jan. 30, Wright found Whitacre guilty of 16 counts of child pornography possession after a bench trial.

Wright merged four counts into one, making it 13 counts on which Whitacre was sentenced. The four counts were merged because the four images appeared to have been of the same girl, according to documents.

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The charges each carry a maximum one-year sentence.

According to charging documents, police executed a search-and-seizure warrant at Whitacre's house July 1, 2005, and took two computer towers and unmarked CDs.

On the computer towers and CDs, police discovered several images and short movie clips depicting boys and girls - many younger than 10 - involved in sexual acts, charging documents state.

A relative turned Whitacre in to police, documents state.

At the conclusion of the January hearing, Wright ordered Whitacre on presentence supervision pending the completion of an investigation.

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