Computer Crime Research Center


Ex-teacher pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

Date: March 17, 2009

FRONT ROYAL -- A former substitute teacher pleaded guilty Monday in Warren County Circuit Court to 10 counts of possession of child pornography on his computer.

William Oden, 39, of 1321 Happy Creek Road, Front Royal, pleaded guilty as part of an agreement crafted by Front Royal defense attorney Jerry O. Talton and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan C. Layton.

Judge Dennis L. Hupp accepted the agreement, which calls for a three-year active prison sentence, with the court deciding how much remaining time to suspend.

Hupp told Oden that each of the charges carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison. Oden remains free after posting $20,000 secured bond pending sentencing June 16 at 9 a.m.

Although Oden has undergone a sexual abnormality evaluation at Johns Hopkins University, Hupp said that in addition to reviewing that report, he also will order that a similar evaluation be performed by a local clinician.

Hupp also ordered that Oden, who lives with his parents, not have access to the Internet via their computer when they are out of the country while his sentencing is pending. Authorities have seized Oden's computer.

Hupp said that law enforcement officers or probation officers may search Oden's parents' house while they are away to make sure that Oden does not have child pornography or access to the Internet. Oden's father was in court on Monday and said that he would disconnect his Internet service while he and his wife are away.

Oden was arrested on Oct. 4, 2007, after police received a tip from The Computer Medical Center in Front Royal that his laptop contained files with child pornography, according to the affidavit for the search warrant.

Oden took the computer to the center on Oct. 3, 2007, to be cleaned of viruses, spyware and adware, the document says. When a technician began to access files on the computer, he found one containing images of a young, nude boy. The technician reported it to the owner of the business, who called the police, according to the affidavit.

According to Mel Medved, Warren County Public Schools' director of personnel, Oden worked as a substitute teacher for about two months several years ago.

Steve Edwards, a spokesman for Frederick County Public Schools, has said that Oden was placed on the substitute list there during the 2006-07 academic year. Oden worked about 34 times during that year and 2007-08, Edwards said. He was removed from the list after his arrest.

Layton told the court that, although it appeared to him there were images on Oden's computer of children younger than 13 years of age, he had no way to verify that, which would figure into state sentencing guidelines.
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