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Repeat offender convicted of downloading child pornography, trying to destroy evidence

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A 42-year-old Wood County man has been convicted of downloading child pornography to a computer at the Parkersburg & Wood County Library in January 2013 and then trying to destroy evidence on the eve of his trial.

After a two-day bench trial in Huntington, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers found Matthew John Wiggins, Parkersburg, guilty of accessing child pornography with intent to view it and attempting to persuade someone by letter to destroy a library card he know would be important evidence at his trial.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said the investigation began when an Information Security Officer with the West Virginia Office of Information Security and Controls, an agency that monitors state computers for illegal activity, discovered someone at the library was downloading pornographic images of children on a library computer. The Office of Information Security and Controls was able to trace the IP Address to a computer on the main floor of the library, then reported the illegal activity to the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

A member of the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and two Parkersburg Police Department detectives then went to the library and found Wiggins sitting at the computer on which he had downloaded child pornography on two previous days. A forensic examination performed on that computer revealed that Wiggins accessed, with intent to view, more than 50 images of child pornography.

Goodwin said Wiggins had been convicted in federal court in 2000 for knowingly possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Within 11 days of being released from prison, he was found to be in possession of a computer, in violation of the terms and conditions of his supervised release. At that time, Wiggins admitted to using software designed to delete data on the computer he had at his residence.

During Wiggins' second term of supervised release, he was caught viewing pictures of naked girls on a computer in the West Virginia University Parkersburg library and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Goodwin said Wiggins now faces a prison sentence of at least 10 years to a maximum of 40 years, as well as a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for July 7 in Huntington.

The investigation was conducted by the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with the assistance of the West Virginia Office of Information Security and Controls, Parkersburg police, West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Johnston and Jennifer Rada were in charge of his prosecution.