Rogersville man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A Rogersville man has pleaded guilty to multiple child pornography-related charges against him, the Lauderdale District Attorney’s Office confirms.

Michael Joseph Newell, 49, faced more than 300 counts of child pornography, including 152 counts of producing material and 152 counts of possession.

Investigators say Newell created explicit videos of an 11-year-old girl over the course of several months up to December 2017. These videos were later found during a forensic analysis of the computer and other Newell equipment.

Following his 2019 arrest, Newell was later charged with the charges. His trial was due to begin earlier this week after multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assistant District Attorney Angie Hamilton said a plea deal was reached before the trial could begin to protect the victim involved.

“This plea was based on the victim’s wishes and did not compel her to testify,” Hamilton said. “[To not] re-victimizing her by allowing the accused to review the obscene images of her and not having to expose her images to the jury.

Hamilton says Newell pleaded guilty to a maximum of five counts of possession of child pornography, with all counts being consecutive.

According to Hamilton, the sentence will include 50 years in prison, followed by an additional five years of supervision upon his release.

“He has to serve 10 years to the day.”

Newell will also have to register as a sex offender, cannot have electronic devices upon his release, and must waive his right to be searched by law enforcement, without any contact with the victim.


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