By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
A Strasburg man and former Mary Baldwin College professor is facing one count of possession of child pornography after an arrest that came within three weeks of the expiration of his probation for a similar offense in 2009.
Strasburg police Lt. Jerome Robinson said the arrest of Chadwick Carter Blackwell, 44, came around 10 p.m. July 22, hours after police obtained a search warrant for Blackwell's house at 255 W. Queen St.
Blackwell was three weeks away from completing a a three-year probation sentenced imposed in Staunton Circuit Court in 2009 after Blackwell's conviction on four counts of possessing child pornography. His address was listed as Woodstock at the time.
Blackwell was convicted under an Alford plea in which the defendant does not admit guilt, but concedes the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him. He had initially been charged with 34 counts.
Blackwell was working as a psychology professor at Mary Baldwin College at the time he was charged.
Blackwell has remained in jail since his latest arrest.
The search warrant affidavit signed by Strasburg police Sgt. Darren Miller states that Blackwell's probation officer told him that Blackwell's probation is due to expire Saturday.
Miller's affidavit states the investigation was triggered by an anonymous phone call from someone who said her boyfriend was hired to install a privacy fence around the Blackwell home. The informant said her boyfriend arrived at the home around 9 a.m. on July 20 "and walked in on an argument between Blackwell and his wife 'Carrie.'"
The workman said he left the house, and Blackwell also went outside, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit states the worker returned to speak to Blackwell's wife, whereupon she opened a laptop computer and showed him several photos "that he described as disgusting."
The informant alleges that her boyfriend saw "several pictures on the computer that were of pre-teen girls in sexually explicit poses and having sexual intercourse with older men," according to the affidavit.
The affidavit goes to to state that Blackwell's wife also showed the informant's boyfriend a Google search from the computer that she said was listed as "pre-teen rape."
The informant's boyfriend "had to stop looking at the photographs because he was getting sick and on the verge of vomiting," the affidavit states.
The informant also told Miller that she found Blackwell on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry after her boyfriend told her of what he had seen at the residence.
The search warrant lists 22 items recovered from Blackwell's home, much of it electronic equipment such as gaming systems, a hard drive, cell phone, camera and camcorder. The items also include paperback books with sexually-related titles.
Robinson said Blackwell was not home when the search warrant was executed. He was arrested at a convenience store in Strasburg about 10 p.m. with "no resistance whatsoever," Robinson said.
Robinson said the investigation is continuing and asked that anyone with information to contact Sgt. Miller at 465 5230.