May pleads guilty to child pornography charges

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October 18, 2010

3:10 PM

College of William and Mary economics professor Justin May pled guilty to child pornography charges in a U.S. District Court hearing yesterday.

May, who faces a minimum of 15 years imprisonment for the guilty plea, was arrested by federal agents in July for soliciting a minor to take sexually explicit photographs of herself and e-mail them to him. The exchange was traced using May’s College e-mail account. May was later denied bond.

He admitted in the courtroom that he used the false pretense of advancing the 13 year-old Ohio resident’s modeling career as an incentive for her to send the nude photographs.

According to the affidavit, the girl posted clothed photographs of herself online and received an e-mail from one “Jason Marx,” who claimed to have experience in the modeling industry. “Marx” gave the girl the e-mail address of a “model” named Nikki, who convinced the victim to send the nude photographs. Both Marx and Nikki were alternate accounts run by May.

“This case represents the very real danger our kids face online,” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. “It’s disturbing that a college professor would take advantage of a teen girl and manipulate her into sending sexually explicit photos of herself.”

May will remain in jail without bond until his Jan. 25 sentencing.

“[May] is on administrative leave until we conclude our internal investigation,” College spokesman Brian Whitson said in an e-mail.

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