Man jailed for eight years

Published 1:12 pm Thursday, August 25, 2016

An Amelia County circuit court judge sentenced Xavier Lopez, 30, of Amelia, to eight years in prison on Aug. 19. A jury convicted Lopez in February on 15 counts of possession of child pornography.

Xavier Lopez

Xavier Lopez

Attorney General Mark R. Herring made the announcement in a press release following the sentencing hearing. Herring said Lopez would be required to register as a sex offender in any U.S. jurisdiction in which he lives, works or attends school following his imprisonment.

“Eight years in prison is a strong and entirely appropriate sentence for someone who had built such a large cache of material,” Herring said in the release. “Our strong relationship with the SOVA ICAC (Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children), as well as law enforcement agencies and commonwealth’s attorneys throughout Virginia, are key to bringing these dangerous individuals to justice and holding them accountable for the unimaginable damage they do to children.”

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According to Herring, evidence presented at trial showed Lopez was identified through an undercover peer-to-peer investigation into the online sharing of child pornography conducted by the Bedford County Sherriff’s Office. The investigation traced Lopez to his home in Amelia County.

The Bedford and Amelia sheriff’s offices obtained and executed a search warrant at Lopez’s residence where they seized several computers and electronic devices. A forensic examination of those devices conducted by Herring’s computer forensics unit revealed Lopez had saved approximately 500 images of child pornography on his laptop computer in a peer-to-peer program folder, which was available for distribution over the internet. Further evidence showed Lopez had saved dozens of additional images of child pornography on a tablet recovered from the residence.  

Officers investigated the case with the Bedford and Amelia sheriff’s offices as a part of the SOVA ICAC Task Force. Assistant attorneys general Brittany Jones and Stacey Rohrs of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case on behalf of the commonwealth, with cooperation from the Amelia County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.