Man Named in Times Child Porn Probe Gets 150 Years; Blames Victim

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A Virginia man who helped run a child pornography business that has been the focus of federal and state investigations as well as Congressional hearings was sentenced to 150 years in prison. The man, Gregory J. Mitchel, 39, pleaded guilty in January to charges involving the sexual exploitation of boys and the operation of illegal Web sites. Mitchel was an administrator on several of the sites and admitted in his plea to producing and distributing child pornography.

Mitchel was arrested in September after being implicated by Justin Berry, a 19-year-old California man featured in a December article in the New York Times about teenagers who run for-pay pornography sites, showing images of themselves transmitted by Webcams. Berry's story prompted the hearings before a House subcommittee, and he testified in April. Mitchel pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Roanoke, Va., to four felonies involving the production, sale, distribution and possession of child pornography. Because of a previous conviction on a child pornography charge, he had faced a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison. In statements before the sentencing, Mitchel blamed Berry for the situation, saying that the teenager had manipulated him and made all of the money from their illegal site.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/16/technology/16kids.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1153055189-FNTL5pd7bnM

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