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Former college police officer faces more child porn charges

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) –  A VCU police officer that once patrolled Broad Street and the VCU campus found himself facing more charges Thursday.

Five felony warrants are on file for the arrest of James Deford for possession of child pornography.

The five new charges spelled out in a grand jury indictment are graphic and disturbing, but they detail exactly what images and videos Deford is accused of downloading.

“They spell out a file name so that if it involves a minor, it can be proven,” says CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone. “ It’s done pretty regularly.”

The indictment also has the disturbing details that the pictures and videos are of young victims ages one to ten, involved in sexual acts.

“The court, I’m sure, will look at this more critically because he was in a position of trust,” says Stone.  “[He’s] certainly expected to know better, to obey the law because he was enforcing the law.”

Deford was a sergeant with the VCU Police Department until he was suspended back in November.  But he was interviewed as recently as 2009 by VCU’s student-run broadcast program “Insight,” offering safety tips to students.

Initially, the FBI and a Richmond Police task force swooped in and arrested Deford charging him with two counts of distribution of child pornography.   But those charges were “null prossed” Thursday, taking a back seat to the new possession charges, which if proven, could mean more time behind bars.

“First possession is a Class 6 felony, meaning up to five years,” says Stone.  “Every one after that is a Class 5,  meaning up to 10 years.  In the end he could be facing 45 years.”

And remember “null prossed” doesn’t mean the charges are gone.  If prosecutors fail to get a conviction in Chesterfield, Stone says the Richmond charges would most likely be back on the table.

According to deputy at the Chesterfield County Jail, Deford turned himself in late Thursday evening.

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