May receives 180-month prison sentence

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February 3, 2011

10:12 PM

A U.S. federal court sentenced former College of William and Mary economics professor Justin May to 15 years federal prison Thursday. May pled guilty to child pornography charges in U.S. District Court in October.

May was arrested July 2, 2010 for soliciting a 13-year old Ohio girl into e-mailing him nude photos of herself. He was denied bond.

According to an affidavit filed by Federal agent Paula Barrow, the girl had posted clothed photographs of herself on the modeling website Talenthunter.com. She received e-mails from an individual claiming to be “Jason Marx,” who claimed to have knowledge of the modeling industry. “Marx” instructed her to e-mail an alleged former model named “Nikki” after she informed “Marx” that she was 13. “Nikki” persuaded the girl into emailing nude photographs of herself and offered to send a professional photographer in exchange for sex acts.

The Cleveland office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation traced the e-mails from “Marx” and “Nikki” to a College e-mail address used by May.

College spokesman Brian Whitson declined to comment on the case.

May is no longer employed by the College.

“This case represents the very real danger our kids face online,” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement following May’s conviction in October. “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 was an associate professor in the economics department and is a graduate of Emory University and the University of Michigan, where he received his Ph.D. Prior to joining the College, May spent three years as a research assistant at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Flat Hat News Editor Chris Weidman and Flat Hat Editor-in-Chief Mike Crump contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: May’s sentence was previously reported as 18 months. This has been corrected to 180 months.

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