Nelson Man Pleads Guilty to 23 Counts of Child Pornography

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Office of Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney
Press Release

Before he had to face a Nelson County jury tomorrow morning, Ned Douglass May, 65, of Stoney Creek in Nelson County, Virginia, pleaded guilty in the Nelson County Circuit Court this morning to 23 felony charges of possession of child pornography, 22 of which were second or subsequent offenses that each carry up to 10 years in prison.        

Detective Patrick Siewert of the Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force based in Louisa, Virginia, began noticing that a computer was sharing files, child pornography videos, on a peer-to-peer file sharing program called E-Donkey. Generally, E-Donkey is used to download movies, music and other copyrighted material from other users.

Siewert received 4 video files from the same computer on E-Donkey, all of which depicted children between the ages of 5 and 15 years old engaged in sexual acts with other children and adults.  Detective Siewert obtained the subscriber information from Nelson Cable for the computer that was making child pornography available on E-Donkey. The subscriber was listed by Nelson Cable as Ned Douglass May of Stoney Creek.

On March 16, 2012, Detective Siewert and Office Nic Rudman of the Charlottesville Police Department, who is also on the Task Force, obtained a search warrant to search May's home and seize computers, laptops and other electronic equipment that is used to download and store child pornography. Wintergreen Police Department and the Nelson County Sheriff's Office assisted in the search.

May admitted to Siewert and Rudman that he used the E-Donkey file sharing program to download child pornography and that he had been doing that for several years. He told the officers that he used search terms such as 2 yo and 3 yo, meaning 3 year old or 2 year old. He admitted to being interested in 3 year old to 15 year old children. Officers seized several hard drives, cell phones and an Apple IPAD that May stated he used for downloading child pornography.

A forensic examination of May's hard drives and IPAD revealed thousands of files that appeared to contain child pornography.  Detective Siewart was able to match the video files he received to the files found on May's hard drive.

May was initially charged with 4 counts of distributing child pornography based on the undercover downloads that Siewert received from December 2011 through March 6, 2012, all of which occurred before the March 16, 2012 search warrant.

Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney, Anthony Martin, subsequently authorized 19 additional child pornography charges based on videos that were found on May's IPAD. The initial distribution charges were amended to possession of child pornography based on May pleading guilty to the other 19 additional charges.

Detective Siewert said that this was one of the biggest child pornography collections he had seen in his 5 years on the Task Force.

May is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and will be sentenced on April 8, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.