Virginia Man Pleads Guilty in Online Pornography Case

By KURT EICHENWALD The New York Times January 29, 2006

A Virginia man arrested in a national investigation of child pornography on the Internet pleaded guilty to multiple charges involving the sexual exploitation of boys and the operation of illegal Web sites, the Justice Department said Friday.

The man, Gregory J. Mitchel, 38, was an administrator of several illegal Web sites and admitted in his plea to producing and distributing child pornography through the Internet. In that role, the Justice Department said, Mr. Mitchel filmed boys engaging in sex acts and received money from Web site subscribers who paid monthly fees for viewing live and recorded videos.

Mr. Mitchel was arrested after being implicated by Justin Berry, a

19-year-old who was featured in a December article in The New York Times about teenagers who operate for-pay pornography sites that show images of themselves transmitted by Webcams. Mr. Mitchel has since begun naming other adult men who were actively involved in the sexual exploitation of children, court records show.

Mr. Berry, who beginning at 13 was enticed by adults he met online into performing sex acts in front of his Webcam, operated pornography sites featuring his own image for five years. In discussions with a Times reporter in July, Mr. Berry agreed to abandon his business and tell law enforcement about adult men who he knew were sexually exploiting and abusing children. Mr. Berry was granted immunity and is now a federal witness.

In interviews with The Times and the government, Mr. Berry said Mr. Mitchel had molested him over several years and had begun sexually exploiting as many as six other children.

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Monty Solomon
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