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Posted March 14, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Woodstock defendant may face at least 50 child porn counts

By Joe Beck

A child pornography case against a Woodstock man headed for Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Thursday as police continued an investigation that could lead to many more charges being filed.

Woodstock police arrested Travis Coverstone, 22, during an investigation into his online communications that led to him being charged with possession of child pornography, attempting to solicit a child with a communications system and attempting to take indecent liberties with a child.

Coverstone waived a preliminary hearing Thursday in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court where he appeared in a jail uniform before Judge William H. Logan Jr.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Louis Campola said after the hearing that the five charges against Coverstone are only the beginning. Campola said he expected to submit more than 50 counts to a Circuit Court grand jury when it meets to consider the case on April 10.

Campola said investigators from the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office and Woodstock police have seized pornographic images from a computer used by Coverstone.

"There were quite a few on there," Campola said, adding that he estimated the number to be more than 50.

An affidavit for a search warrant filed in Circuit Court by Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office Investigator S.A. Leake states that Woodstock Investigator Derek Good interviewed Coverstone in jail following his arrest. The affidavit states that Coverstone told Good he had downloaded child pornography from a family member's computer. The law enforcement officials subsequently seized the computer with the permission of the owners.

Shenandoah County Lt. Tom Shelton said, "We did find several images that matched the category called child pornography."

Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reilley said Good impersonated a 14-year-old girl in online communications with Coverstone during the investigation. Reilley said Woodstock police regularly monitor certain websites for adults seeking out sexual relationships with youngsters.

Reilley said Good "responded to an ad that the suspect had put out through social media sites for underage children. Through ongoing communications, Mr. Coverstone agreed to meet, and he was subsequently arrested."

Reilley added that police arrested Coverstone in what he described as "a public place" across the street from the Massanutten Military Academy.

Coverstone's arrest was the second in less than a year by Woodstock police in which Good impersonated a teen-ager in online communications with a man suspected of seeking sex with an underage partner.

In the first case filed last year, Hobart Day of Woodstock was charged with attempting to take indecent liberties with a child younger than 15 and use of a computer to solicit sex.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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