More Prison Time for Online Child Predators

Bedford Co., VA - Predators who use a computer to go after children are getting more time in prison under a recent change in Virginia law.

This week, William Brothers was sentenced to 10 years in prison for online solicitation. Brothers admitted he traveled to Bedford County to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he met online. That girl was actually an investigator.

There are now mandatory minimum sentences for soliciting children for sexual purposes online, five years for each offense.

Brothers likely would have only spent a few months in jail for the same crime, if convicted prior to the law change.

"People were getting maybe a month, two months, six months tops for these offenses against children", said Sgt. Steve Anders with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

"We're not only now able to identify them, but identify them and incarcerate them and hopefully prevent a child from actually being abused," said Randy Krantz, Bedford County Commonwealth's Attorney.

The five year mandatory minimum sentence applies when the alleged predator thinks the child is 15 years of age or younger, and there is at least a seven year age difference between them.