BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — Ty Thompson entered a plea of guilty Monday to the sole count in the information of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor, a felony of the second degree, according to Belmont County Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan.
Judge John Vavra sentenced Thompson to 3 to 4.5 years in prison and will be required to register for the next 25 years under Ohio’s sexual offender registration law upon his release.
According to Flanagan, Thompson was caught in possession of child porn images and videos on his cell phone, which he shared.
The investigation into Thompson began when an unnamed social media website provided information to the Internet Crimes Against Children agency about child porn images and videos being shared from a person in Belmont County.
Following this tip, the Powhatan Police Department began their own investigation, said Flanagan. Powhatan PD conducted an extensive investigation, uncovering much of the evidence used in the case against Thompson, and showed how he would gain access to the illicit images and videos, said Flanagan.
While none of the children in the videos were local, Flanagan noted that the location of the children means nothing in how authorities handle these types of cases.
According to Flanagan, when people access child porn, they are not only facilitating the abuse of children, but they are guaranteeing that the abuse will continue.
Despite many of the children in this type of pornography being from foreign countries, departments such as Powhatan Point are making a strong statement against this crime, even in cases that originate halfway around the world. When they investigate and gain convictions against those fueling the exchange of child porn, such as in this case, they also make a strong statement, according to Flanagan.