Commonwealth v. Kenneth Merchant; Sex Offender Sentenced to 26 Years for Abuse of Minor, Child Porn Collection

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

​Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Kenneth Merchant, 67 years old, formerly of the 1000 block of Sir Timothy Drive in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced yesterday by Circuit Court Judge Stephen C. Mahan for charges of Object Sexual Penetration- Victim Under Age 13, Aggravated Sexual Battery – Victim Under 13, Produce Child Pornography- Victim Under Age 15, Offender 7+ Years Older, and Possession of Child Pornography (12 counts).  Judge Mahan sentenced Merchant to 66 years in prison with 40 years suspended leaving 26 years to serve.

Merchant pled guilty on February 5, 2014.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that between June 1, 2012 and August 30, 2012, Kenneth Merchant sexually abused a minor child known to him on multiple occasions.  A family member of the victim eventually found nude photographs of the victim in Merchant’s dresser drawer.  Some of the photos documented the sexual abuse Merchant inflicted upon the victim. 

 

In April 2013 the photographs were reported to police.  After Merchant’s arrest, investigators with the Virginia Beach Police Department received photographs that had been in a storage unit belonging to Merchant.  There were dozens of images of child pornography that appeared to have been downloaded from the Internet.  While he was in jail awaiting trial, Merchant admitted to molesting and photographing the young victim. 

 

Merchant has a prior conviction for Aggravated Sexual Battery from 1987.

 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Wendy Alexander.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.

 

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