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Gate City man faces child porn charges

Staff report • Nov 26, 2018 at 2:25 PM

GATE CITY — A Scott County resident has been indicted on charges related to online trading and distribution of child pornography.

According to Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Dan Fellhauer, Bobby Allen Thorp, 47, of Gate City, was tabbed following a tip generated in the Internet Crimes Against Children data system. A joint investigation was then launched with cooperation from several local law enforcement agencies.

Fellhauer reports that multiple interviews were conducted, search warrants were executed on Thorp’s Facebook and Google accounts. His cell phone, laptop and another computer were seized.

“The seized evidence is still being processed and may ultimately result in more charges against Thorp as well as another individual,” stated Fellhauer. “At this point, no local children were identified in the recovered photos; however, when photos like this are made, children are sexually violated and then they are repeatedly re-victimized through the online viewing and trading of their images.”

Thorp was indicted earlier this month on one count of trading child pornography to gain entry into a group, four counts of distributing child pornography, four counts of receiving child pornography and one count of solicitation. He faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison.

Fellhauer added: “Protecting children is one of the utmost duties of law enforcement, and we will continue to work diligently with all of our law enforcement partners to capture those individuals who participate in the child pornography marketplace or commit any other crimes that exploit children."

Anyone who believes they were inappropriately contacted or solicited by Thorp is asked to contact the Scott County Sheriff's Office. Thorp reportedly used online aliases of “PLOWB,” “SANDMANBT29,” “PLOWBOYBT71,” “COUNTRYBOYBT71,” and “BOBBYTHARP."

Participating in the investigation of Thorp are the Washington County Sheriff’s Office/Southwest Virginia ICAC Task Force, Scott County Sheriff's Office and Gate City Police Department.

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