FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:July 10, 2013
Contact: Heather F. WilliamsonCommonwealth’s Attorney’s Office20 East Market StreetLeesburg, VA 20176-2809(703) 777-0242
WESTERN LOUDOUN MAN SENTENCED FOR TEN COUNTS OF POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
SEVEN YEAR SENTENCE IMPOSED
LEESBURG, Virginia – July 10, 2013. Jay Darwin Palen, 54, appeared before Judge Benjamin N. A. Kendrick in Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on ten felony charges of Possession of Child Pornography. Kendrick imposed a total active sentence of seven years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
In September 2012, law enforcement began a peer to peer file sharing investigation on an IP address that belonged to Palen at his home in Purcellville. Upon further investigation by Virginia State Police, and the execution of a search warrant at Palen’s home, it was discovered that he was in possession of over 1000 images and videos of child pornography. The videos also included recordings of Palen performing sexual acts on child-sized mannequins.
Also found were videos that Palen recorded of elementary aged children in various public places. “While Palen was convicted of child pornography, this behavior is often a precursor to more serious crimes against children,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman. “We were extremely fortunate that Palen was identified by law enforcement before his behavior escalated any further.”
A sampling of these images was submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Many of the children were identified through a comparison with a known database of images.
Palen entered pleas of guilt to ten counts of Possession of Child Pornography on April 26, 2013. In addition to the seven years of penitentiary time, Judge Kendrick also imposed an additional 40 years of suspended time. Upon his release, Palen will be placed on 10 years of supervised probation and will be required to successfully complete a sex offender treatment program and any other mental health counseling as directed by his probation officer.
Pursuant to Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, Palen will also be required to register as a sex offender. Information about the Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and those on it can be found on the Virginia State Police website: http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov.