Former boy scout leader sentenced in child porn case

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk man, and former boy scout leader, was sentenced Friday in a child pornography case.

United States District Judge Mark S. Davis sentenced 41-year-old James L. Belsha to 16 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release for on charge of receipt of child pornography.

Belsha pleaded guilty to the charge in August, according to Deanna Warren with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Warren said law enforcement discovered Belsha “sharing child pornography on the internet via a peer-to-peer file sharing computer program.” After a search warrant was executed, investigators found Belsha had more than 650 explicit videos of the sexual abuse of minors.

Belsha has a previous conviction in Virginia Beach Circuit Court, involving the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old. That conviction occurred in 1992 and the offense while Belsha was a Boy Scout leader.

This case was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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