The Herald Bulletin

May 21, 2013

Man pleads guilty to child exploitation, gets 10 years

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — A man who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography is going to prison.

Daniel E. Ward, 47, received a 10-year, fully-executed sentence in the Department of Correction on Monday after being convicted of two counts of child exploitation and one count of possession of child pornography.

The case against Ward was in some doubt until April 2, when a motion to suppress evidence was denied by Madison Circuit Court 4 Judge David Happe, who also sentenced Ward.

Ward was accused of accessing websites containing child pornography from his home’s IP address on three occasions from late 2011 to early 2012.

FBI agents investigating Ward obtained a federal search warrant and raided the residence in the 2300 block of Chase Street where Ward lives with his father on Jan. 21.

According to a probable cause affidavit of the incident, officers found a 50-minute video showing child pornography on Ward’s computer. They also observed Ward’s IP address visiting websites with child pornography on Dec. 7, 2011, and Dec. 14, 2011.

Bryan Williams, Ward’s attorney, argued to Judge David Happe that the search conducted by Anderson police and FBI agents overstepped what was allowed by the warrant. Ward was living in an outbuilding near the home that had been converted into a living space.

Without the suppression of evidence, the case against Ward, who has similar previous convictions, was quite strong. He pleaded guilty on April 29.

Deputy prosecutor Stephanie Wade said 10 years was the most Ward could have received, and his criminal record was one of the aggravating factors against him.

Ward pleaded guilty to charges of attempted aggravated sexual battery and child exploitation in Tennessee in 2005, a case involving his then 7- and 9-year-old daughters. Wade said those were roughly the same ages as the subjects found in the child pornography on Ward’s computer.

“It’s definitely a victory for the community to have someone like that off the streets. Plus, when he gets out, he’ll be required to register as a sex offender,” Wade said.

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