Published On: Wed, Feb 5th, 2014

Former county resident arrested for child pornography

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Former Green Bank resident, Samuel K. Leach, 58, of Elkins, was arrested January 13 on a charge of viewing and downloading child pornography on a government owned computer.

Leach, who was employed at West Virginia WorkForce in Elkins, in the time span between December 3 and 23, 2013, allegedly downloaded and viewed illicit photographs of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to the criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Trooper Cpl. K.A. Corley.

Corley received a complaint from the West Virginia Office of Information Security and Control which monitors the computers at the WorkForce office, a government entity.

WVOISC provided Corley with the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the computer used to view the content. Corely stated in the complaint that the computer was assigned to Leach, who must log into the computer with a username and password before the system will start.

Corley reviewed the photographs and images that were obtained by WVOISC and stated they were consistent with child erotica, according to the complaint.

At a hearing January 23, the matter was bound over to the Randolph County Circuit Court and Leach was released on a $50,000 cash or surety bond, under the stipulations that he remain under GPS home monitoring, he have no access to the Internet and have no contact with anyone under the age of 18, including family members.

This is not the first time Leach has faced child pornography charges.

In 2006, Leach was arrested at his home in Green Bank after police received reports that he had a collection of images of minors engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct.

Leach was indicted by the April 2007 grand jury on a charge of unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly possessing material visually portraying a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

A trial was held in 2008 and resulted in a mistrial when a juror informed Chief Circuit Judge James Rowe that she was too disturbed by the material to render a fair verdict.

The case was set for a second trail, but was dismissed without prejudice on July 28, 2008, after defense attorneys Josh Edwards and Richard H. Lorenson and former Pocahontas County prosecuting attorney, the late Walt Weiford, met an agreement on the matter.

The case in Pocahontas County was not pursued after the dismissal.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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