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Posted August 9, 2012 | comments 4 Comments

Second search in child porn case turns up digital media

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

Strasburg police seized computer hard drives from two vehicles at the home of a man accused of possessing child pornography, according to the second of two related search warrants filed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.

The second search warrant was issued days after police arrested Chadwick Carter Blackwell following a search of his home at 255 W. Queen St. that turned up evidence he possessed child pornography, according to a police affidavit accompanying the first warrant. Strasburg police Sgt. Darren J. Miller signed the affidavits for both search warrants.

Blackwell, 44, a former Mary Baldwin College professor of psychology, is on three years probation that was due to expire Saturday. The probation was imposed in Staunton Circuit Court three years ago following his conviction on four counts of possessing child pornography. He was convicted under an Alford plea in which the defendant does not admit guilt but concedes the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him.

The second search warrant specifies two hard drives to be searched, one recovered from Chadwick Blackwell's 2002 Ford F-150 pickup truck and the other from a 2010 Ford Expedition belonging to Carrie Blackwell, his wife. Strasburg police Maj. Jerome Robinson said Carrie Blackwell is not a suspect in the case.

The warrant states that both hard drives had already been recovered and were stored as evidence with the police.

The warrant describes the material to be searched for on the hard drivers as "visual representation of minors engaging in lewd or exotic behavior designed to arouse the viewer's sexual interest."

Miller's search warrant affidavit for Chadwell's home explains how the police investigation was triggered by an encounter between Chadwick Blackwell, Carrie Blackwell and a workman installing a privacy fence around their home on July 22.

According to the affidavit, based on statements from the workman's girlfriend to Miller, the workman allegedly walked in on an argument between the Blackwells. The affidavit states that after both men left the house, the workman returned inside where Carrie Blackwell showed him a laptop computer bearing "several pictures ... that were of pre-teen girls in sexually explicit poses and having sexual intercourse with older men."

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