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Case Number: 2:22-cr-112
Judge: John T. Copenhaver, Jr.
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (Kanawha County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Charleston
Defendant's Attorney: John Balenovich
Description: Charleston, West Virginia criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant. age 33, of Fayetteville, West Virginia, charged with sexual exploitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography.
On April 1, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at William Lawrence Bryant’s residence and seized multiple digital media devices including computers, cell phones, and external hard drives. A forensic analysis of the seized devices revealed over 17,000 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including 20 images of child pornography that Bryant produced himself.
Bryant told the officers that he downloaded and distributed child pornography on various internet platforms and websites for several years. Bryant admitted that the digital media devices were his and contained images and videos showing prepubescent minor male children subjected to sexually explicit conduct. Bryant further admitted that the child pornography he possessed included a video of a male toddler being sexually assaulted by an adult male.
A photograph on one of the seized cell phones depicts Bryant naked with a minor male child who was asleep and in underwear. Bryant admitted to taking the photograph and further admitted that the minor male child was younger than 12 years old.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force, the West Virginia State Police, and the FBI Baltimore field office.
Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Keefe and Julie M. White prosecuted the case.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He must also register as a sex offender.