The case against a former teacher accused of sex crimes involving young children went before another judge in Charlottesville.
The defense attorney for Richard Allen Wellbeloved-Stone appeared in Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Friday, October 6. The defendant was not able to appear in the courtroom, but is in federal custody.
The judge granted the prosecution's request to nolle prosse the 19 charges of production of child pornography against Wellbeloved-Stone. This means prosecutors dropped the charges in juvenile and domestic court in order to make way for the federal case against the defendant. However, the court will still take up the one count of aggravated sexual battery.
Authorities have charged the 56-year-old man in federal court with one count of using a minor to produce child pornography and another of possession of child pornography. A grand jury is expected to take up those two charges.
According to U.S. code, Wellbeloved-Stone could face up to 20 years in prison per federal charge if he is found guilty.
Wellbeloved-Stone had been an environmental science teacher at Charlottesville High School since 2002 until investigators say they found evidence of him molesting a young girl, taking pictures of it, and sharing videos of other children having sex.
Charlottesville police and federal agents executed a search warrant at Wellbeloved-Stone's Cottonwood Road home on July 25, and initially charged him with one count of possession of child pornography.
A preliminary hearing for Wellbeloved-Stone in Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court is scheduled to take place on October 27.
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