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Portsia Smith covers Louisa County crime and news.

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Man pleads guilty to child porn, must pay victims

A conviction in Louisa County today is the first in Virginia to enforce a new law that requires offenders to pay restitution to child pornography victims.

Ryan Macklin

Ryan Allen Macklin, 28, of Hanover, pleaded  guilty in Louisa County Circuit Court today to two counts of distributing child pornography.  In a plea deal, eight counts were dropped and he will serve seven years in prison.

According to Louisa Commowealth Attorney Tom Garrett, Macklin was arrested July 16 after an investigation into his computer, which was used at a Hanover hotel to download and distribute child pornography through a popular website.

Louisa detective Patrick Siewart, who serves as a member of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, discovered Macklin’s computer activity and arrested him at the hotel.

Garrett said Macklin is the first defendant to be punished using House bill 1995, which became law on July 1 and requires mandatory restitution for child pornography victims.

Del. Bill Janis carried the legislation following a request from the Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and PROTECT, a national organization that aims to protect children. The goal of the law, Garrett said, is to make sure those who possess or distribute child pornography help pay for the damage they cause to the victims.

After serving seven years in prison, Garrett said Macklin will have to pay $1,000 each to the two victims in his case.

“I hope this case sends a message that if you engage in child pornography crimes we will come after your liberty and your finances,” Garrett said today.

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/louisa/2011/09/16/man-pleads-guilty-to-child-porn-must-pay-victims/