Home Spotsylvania man, who coerced 9-year-old girl to produce sexual images, pleads guilty

Spotsylvania man, who coerced 9-year-old girl to produce sexual images, pleads guilty

Crystal Graham
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A Spotsylvania man with more than 7,000 pornographic media files of children on five devices pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to the images.

Shane Johnston, 46, will be sentenced on Aug. 13 for production of child pornography.

He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison.

According to court documents, Homeland Security Investigations Toronto contacted HSI Richmond last July regarding a Discord account with username “FairyHunter.”

HSI identified Johnston as the account user.

In August, HSI agents obtained a search warrant for the electronic devices belonging to Johnston. The five devices contained 7,453 media files constituting child pornography.

A review of Johnston’s Discord account revealed a conversation in June 2023 between Johnston and a 9-year-old child during which Johnston induced the child to produce and send to him images of herself engaging in sexual activity.

U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck accepted Johnston’s plea on Monday.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.