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Tenn. Man to Serve Over 2 Yrs for Possessing Child Porn in Albem - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Tenn. Man to Serve Over 2 Yrs for Possessing Child Porn in Albemarle

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A Tennessee man who is connected to the temporary disappearance of a 16-year-old girl in October of last year will be serving two years and three months behind bars.

Last March, Johnathan Messer pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing child porn and one count of using a computer to facilitate a sexual offense with a minor. He was sentenced Tuesday in Albemarle Circuit Court.

In an emotional statement, Messer said he should have seen signs that the victim was under 18. He also told the judge he wanted very much to move forward with his life. The judge said she found Messer remorseful and ordered him to serve 27 months of a 15 year sentence.

The court's ruling Tuesday was in line with the plea agreement he entered.

Attorneys on both sides say they are content with the ruling but describe the case very differently.

“When you are talking with someone you simply don't know online, obviously hope that people who are inclined to engage in that behavior think twice and try to do everything possible to make sure that they are not dealing with a juvenile,” said Denise Lunsford, commonwealth’s attorney.

“He is certainly not the first guy who got in trouble for having sex with someone who turned out not to be 18,” said Andre Hakes, defense attorney.

Messer's naval supervisor and aunt testified that he is motivated toward a career in electronics.

Along with his sentence, the judge also prohibited Messer from using social media. That is how he allegedly lured the minor to a hotel room. Messer's attorney says that with good behavior he could be out in roughly a year.

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