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Boyfriend has porn conviction for ‘sexted’ photos

A teenage girl may have had something else in mind when she sent sexy photos to her boyfriend’s cell phone. Now he has a record for possession of child pornography.

Donald Kellison, who was 21 years old when he got the photos, was convicted of possession for three cell phone pictures sent to him by his bare-breasted girlfriend who was two months shy of her 18th birthday.

The Virginia Court of Appeals today upheld Kellison’s conviction on three counts of possession of child pornography in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-374.1:1(A).

Police seized Kellison’s cell phone when they executed a search warrant at his residence in an unrelated case that targeted child pornography images on someone else’s computer.

Kellison argued on appeal that the photos did not meet the “lewd exhibition of nudity” requirement for a child porn conviction. Kellison’s girlfriend testified that Kellison was her boyfriend when she took the photographs and sent them to him, and they “retained that relationship at the time” of defendant’s trial, according to the unpublished opinion in Kellison v. Commonwealth.

The Prince George County trial court described the degree of exposure in the photos and pointed out that the girlfriend’s face was visible. The judge said the photos were sexually explicit, as there was a “conscious effort” at “a relatively sultry pose.”

Writing for the appellate panel, Chief Judge Walter S. Felton Jr. said they could not conclude the trial court erred in finding the photos “constituted lewd exhibitions of nudity.”
By Deborah Elkins

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