Aug 09, 2012 06:15 AM EDT
Student Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges
A former University of Virginia student pleaded guilty to 10 counts of possession of child pornography Wednesday morning in Albemarle County Circuit Court, reports The Daily Progress.
Ralph Samuel Rogers, 20, of Gordonsville, was scheduled for a jury trial in the matter, but instead entered into a plea agreement with the commonwealth.
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He pleaded guilty to each of the charges on which he was arraigned in April. Rogers has no previous criminal record.
David Heilberg, Rogers' defense attorney, said that Rogers was found in possession of graphic visual images of 'little girls.'
Rogers was exposed when U.Va police officers and other local law enforcement agents obtained a search warrant for his Lambeth Field residence in December and found the images on his computer.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Elliott J. Casey said Rogers confessed to possessing child pornography at the time of his arrest. In exchange for his guilty plea, the commonwealth agreed not to pursue additional charges against him.
Rogers, who was a second-year engineering student at the time of the incident, is no longer enrolled at University of Virginia. He told Judge Cheryl Higgins he would like to attend computer science classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College in the fall.
She agreed to schedule Rogers' sentencing hearing so that he could complete the fall semester before having to serve any jail time.
Apparently, Rogers was suffering from depression. He was attending counseling and living with his parents.
Rogers faces as much as 50 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the crimes, all Class 6 felonies. Casey made no recommendation as to sentencing at Wednesday's hearing. Rogers was present in court, along with several members of his family.
He will be formally sentenced Jan. 8.