Champlin sentenced to 1,245 years

Ryan Matthew Champlin

A Locust Grove man found guilty on 161 counts of possessing child pornography was sentenced to 1,245 years in prison Tuesday.

A six-woman, six-man jury found Ryan Matthew Champlin guilty of the charges in March and recommended the lengthy sentence.

At the time, assistant commonwealth’s attorney Katie Fitzgerald said to her knowledge, this “is the longest sentence recommendation from an Orange jury, and one of the [county’s] biggest cases prosecuted in terms of numbers of charges.”

The evidence against Champlin included “hundreds of digital images of very young children depicted in sexually explicit poses or conduct,” according to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office.

The images were on a computer thumb drive found at the defendant’s residence as part of the criminal investigation, led by Lt. Becky Jones and Capt. Brad Darnell of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Computer forensic experts from the Virginia State Police provided assistance. Fitzgerald and Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana O’Connell prosecuted the case.

“The 161 images and videos charged were a very small percentage of the images and videos found on the thumb drive,” Fitzgerald said following the March trial.

During the trial, the prosecution introduced evidence that Champlin was convicted in Utah on similar child pornography charges.

The jury returned the verdict in a little under two hours.

Judge Dale B. Durrer sentenced Champlin in Orange County Circuit Court Tuesday.

Judge Durrer, who presided over the trial, noted the jury represented a broad cross-section of Orange County and that they embraced their obligation and solemn duty to hear evidence and render a decision, a press release from the commonwealth attorney’s office reported.

The jury also had recommended Champlin pay a $100,000 fine. Judge Durrer suspended the fine, but ordered supervised probation should the defendant ever be released from incarceration.

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