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Hall sentenced to 6-9 years for child porn

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — David Wayne Hall will spend the next six to nine years behind bars for pandering obscenity involving a minor or an impaired individual.

The sentencing came Monday after his guilty plea earlier this month to the second-degree felony charge.

He received his sentence from Belmont County Common Pleas Judge John Vavra.

Hall, 60, of 42600 National Road, Belmont was arrested after detectives assigned to the Sexual Predator Internet Initiative served a warrant.

They reportedly were alerted by other law enforcement that Hall had been sharing child pornography online. They then began an investigation.

Afterward Vavra said the sentence was deserved, adding that although Hall had no prior record and admitted his guilt early in the prosecution of the case, the children depicted in the materials suffered physical, emotional and psychological harm even if Hall did not directly interact with them.

“I consider those … children as victims, and I have always found that they’ve been harmed by being depicted,” Vavra said.

“I don’t consider this to be a victimless crime, even though what he was guilty of was electronic.”

The prosecutor was satisfied with the outcome of the case.

“Today, Judge Vavra imposed a very harsh prison sentence of 6-9 years on David Wayne Hall. … We applaud and agree,” Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry said.

He added that although it is not known who the involved children are, they have nonetheless suffered tremendous harm.

“These pictures of children engaged in sex acts are disgusting and deserve a strong prison sentence such as the one imposed here,” Fry said.

Fry also commended Detective Doug Cruse from the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department for intercepting the images from the internet.

“Detective Cruse does an excellent job with this type of work and is part of many national and statewide task forces working to stamp out this type of activity,” Fry said.

“Detective Cruse’s work, based on the number of successful prosecutions from my office, is definitely paying off.”

The attorneys, judge and defendants wore protective gear during court proceedings Monday, and the number of people permitted in the courtroom was limited. Since resuming court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic, defendants from Belmont County Jail have appeared either in person or via video monitor from the jail, depending on the case.

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