Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 19, 2008

Man pleads guilty to child-porn charges

No prison time for Charles Eric Waugh

Ashland — An Ashland man pleaded guilty Wednesday in Boyd Circuit Court to downloading child pornography from the Internet.

Charles Eric Waugh, 27, of the 3100 block of Woodlawn Avenue, entered guilty pleas to five counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by minors.

Under the terms of his plea bargain, Waugh will not have to serve prison time, provided he stays out of trouble and completes a sex offender treatment program.

Waugh, whose trial had been scheduled to begin on Monday, agreed to accept a five-year sentence, on the condition he be allowed to serve it on probation.

Boyd Commonwealth’s Attorney David Justice said he agreed to probation in the case because Waugh had no prior criminal history and because of the defendant’s willingness to undergo sex offender treatment.

The treatment program takes two years to complete. It is the same course the state mandates sex offenders who are sent to prison to complete before they can be considered for parole, Justice said.

“It’s a pretty tough program,” he said.

Waugh also will have to register as a sex offender for 20 years, beginning after he completes the program, Justice said. He will also have to comply with various regulations for sex offenders, including being prohibited from living within 1,000 yards of a school.

Waugh was indicted after Kentucky State Police at Ashland served a search warrant at his home in December 2006.

According to Justice, Waugh’s illegal Internet activity was first noticed by the FBI office in Oklahoma City, which notified the bureau’s Louisville office. The Louisville office, in turn, contacted the KSP.

The KSP’s Electronic Crimes Unit plumbed the hard drive of Waugh’s computer and found he had attempted to erase some of the images but that they were still there, Justice said. Investigators also found evidence to indicate there was “no doubt” that Waugh had downloaded the pictures intentionally, he said.

The images were all of boys younger than 16, Justice said.

Judge Marc I. Rosen scheduled Waugh’s final sentencing for May 23 to allow time for him to complete a pre-evaluation for the sex offender treatment program.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.













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