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Remines convicted of child porn charges

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Remines convicted of child porn charges / January 14, 2021

A South Boston man was convicted Tuesday in Halifax County Circuit Court of 11 counts of possession of child pornography, crimes that could bring a maximum sentence of 105 years in prison.

Jerry Remines, a resident of Merritt Hills in South Boston, was found guilty Tuesday by Circuit Judge Kimberley S. White after she heard evidence presented at Remines’ bench trial. After issuing the verdict, White ordered a presentence investigation and a psychosexual evaluation in preparation for a sentencing hearing, which will be held at a later time. While he awaits his sentence, Remines will remain behind bars at the Halifax County Adult Detention Center.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Anna Bowen tried the case with Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney William Hamilton. After the trial, Bowen hailed the verdict, which she said would bring justice for every child who was victimized by the production of child pornography that the evidence showed Remines had accessed on his personal devices.

“Remines’ crimes were an appalling revictimization of every child that was being exploited at the time these images were created. Thanks to the hard work of the South Boston Police Department and the Virginia State Police, Mr. Remines was brought to justice,” said Bowen, who specializes in prosecuting crimes against juveniles.

During the trial, the Commonwealth presented evidence that between August and October 2019, Remines repeatedly accessed child pornography on his cellular phone. Testimony by Special Agents Travis Barr and James Trogdon of the High Tech Crimes Division of the Virginia State Police showed that Remines had used various applications on his cell phone to access images, and that he had knowingly possessed child pornography on multiple occasions.

The Commonwealth presented approximately 100 images of child pornography accessed by the defendant, including images of apparent sexual torture of children. The prosecution also presented evidence of Remines’ participation in online chat groups in which he acknowledged that he was “sick” and was seeking “perverted” pornography, and in which he asked to be added to “taboo” or “young” chat groups.

In pronouncing her verdict, White noted the images in evidence were exceedingly violent and disturbing. She also rejected defense claims that police did not adequately secure the photos and video found on Remines’ cell phone, raising the possibility of tampering and the planting of evidence against Remines.

Prior to his trial for possession of child pornography, Remines had pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of computer trespass. As revealed in a pre-trial hearing, Remines came to the attention of South Boston Police when a town officer turned to Remines to repair his broken cell phone. Remines was operating an electronics repair business out of his Merritt Hill home when that initial encounter with authorities began.

After the discovery that Remines had taken data from the officer’s phone without his permission, police determined that Remines would examine customers’ phones and then transfer private pictures or videos from to his own phone or computer. It was when he drew attention for trespass of the officer’s phone that further information surfaced, leading to the search warrant that uncovered the child pornography.

Remines also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of nonconsensual filming of a nude person. Remines recorded a young woman without permission while she was visiting his home in his bathroom. The victim was filmed in a state of undress when she disrobed to take a shower.

Remines received an active sentence of one year and four months for the six misdemeanor trespass offenses. Remines will be sentenced on the remaining count of computer trespass at the same time as his sentencing on the 11 charges of possession of child pornography.

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