Two face trial for child pornography

WOODSTOCK – A mother and son from Woodstock are both facing trial for the production and possession of child pornography.

Ethel Fahnestock Estep, 78, and Daniel Frank Utley, 55, were indicted April 13 by a grand jury. At their arraignment Wednesday, they pleaded not guilty to the two charges and agreed to have their cases tried jointly.

Woodstock Chief of Police Eric L. Reiley said the charges came after Woodstock police officers executed a search a warrant on April 1.

“We executed a search warrant for a video on a cell phone,” Reiley said. “This was reported to us by social services.”

Reiley declined to comment on the scope of the production because the investigation is ongoing. He did add, however, that the cell phone video is the only evidence authorities were looking for under the search warrant.

In a follow-up interview, Utley said he and Estep are innocent of any crime. He said they took two videos to be used as evidence of mistreatment of the children by a third party, and that they were not used for prurient purposes.

According to their indictments, Utley’s alleged production and possession offenses occurred on Jan. 11, 2014, and Feb. 2, 2015. Estep’s alleged offenses occurred Feb. 2, 2015.

The two are set to face a jury trial in Shenandoah Circuit Court at 9 a.m. Sept. 9.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com