2 shot in eastern Henrico

Chesterfield man enters plea deal for child porn, bestiality sex crimes

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – A Chesterfield man had 40 years knocked off his sentence after he agreed to a plea deal for sex crimes that included five counts of possession of child pornography and producing videos of himself performing sex acts with a dog.

Franklin Spain, Jr., 45, of Chesterfield County was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in a Virginia correctional facility, with an additional 40 years and 6 months suspended after being found guilty on five counts of possession of child pornography, announced the office of the Virginia Attorney General.

According to the prosecutor’s office, evidence presented in court showed that Spain sent several images of child pornography, as well as self-produced videos of Spain performing sex acts with a dog, to an undercover law enforcement agent via social media.

Spain further attempted to meet an undercover agent for what he believed was a rendezvous to engage in sexual activities with a 12 year-old minor.

Spain was identified through records associated with his various social media accounts.

Forensic analysis of Spain’s cellphone conducted by examiners with the Attorney General’s Computer Forensics Unit revealed that he had saved several dozen images of child pornography into the phone’s photo albums.

As part of the plea, Spain will have to register as a sex offender following imprisonment and will be prevented from owning or possessing any companion animals for 10 years.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our children, and this is another strong sentence that will take a dangerous predator out of the community and put him behind bars,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “My office and I will continue to seek justice against those who participate in this vile market and harm children.”

Todd Stone, CBS 6 legal analyst, said that the 4.5 year active sentence is about what most judges would do.

"Some judges believe in giving lots of suspended time, no matter how long the active sentence, and some generally do less.   But 10 years suspended is probably just as good as 40 under the circumstances because they serve 85% and the purpose is to keep someone in line in the future," Stone said. "Also, Courts never give all of the suspended time on a violation, so if he got a 10 year suspended sentence and violated probation he might only get another year or two to serve."

This case was investigated by the Chesterfield County Police Department, the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Computer Forensics Unit of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force.  Assistant Attorney General Stacey Rohrs of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth, with assistance from the Chesterfield County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.