Child pornography producer pleads guilty, faces long sentence

A Winchester man is facing 15 to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville to a single count of producing child pornography.

Phillip Daniel Rush, 65, is scheduled to be sentenced March 4, according to a news release issued by U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy of the Western District of Virginia.

Rush filmed two girls, ages 7 and 8, performing sexual activities while they visited him in a recreational vehicle during July 2012, according to the statement of facts filed in court.

Rush provided one of the girls with a sexual device at the beginning of the filming, the statement reports.

“An adult pornography movie can be heard playing in the background the entire time, and the girls discuss what is being depicted in that film,” the statement of facts says. “The defendant is seen during the various parts of the video tape, including at the end when (he) is clearly seen as he turns off the camera.”

The statement of facts says Winchester police began to investigate Rush in late December when the mother of another girl told them that her daughter had seen the videotape Rush made with the two other girls.

“Investigators thereafter interviewed two minor girls who had seen the videotape on the defendant’s laptop computer at the defendant’s home,” the statement of facts says.

Under police questioning, Rush made “escalating admissions” about his role in the production of the videotape, according to the statement of facts.

“He stated that he did not know one of the girls well, but said he had a ‘loving relationship’ with the other and had talked to her about not reporting what he had done,” the statement of facts reports.

The news release issued by Heaphy called Rush’s crime “despicable.”

“When pornographers like Rush exploit children, they will be held accountable,” Heaphy said.

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