2 men sentenced for crimes involving sexual exploitation of children

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two West Virginians were sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. To understand the legal implications on this sort of charges you can now get more info using the link.

Lawrence Hart, 61, of Glen Daniel and 57-year-old Steven Alfred Bennett of Montogomery each face 20 years of supervised release. Each man must also register as a sex offender.

Hart had contacted someone on a dating app last October; the user told him she was only 13 years old and lived in Beckley. Hart offered to teach the user about sex, and he later sent extensive messages on sex and masturbation. Hart also asked her to send him a sexually explicit image, and he sent photographs of himself.

Hart was arrested in November when he went to meet the minor for sexual activity. He pleaded guilty to attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

Bennett admitted to responding to a Craiglist ad from a woman in October 2020. The woman, who was located in Beckley, and Bennett agreed to meet, in which Bennett would pay $150 for sexual activity with an 11-year-old girl whom the woman claimed was her daughter. Bennett skipped the meeting after he saw a news story about another man getting arrested for responding to the same ad.

When authorities later searched Bennett’s home, they found computers containing suspected child pornography.

Bennett pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Frank Volk is presiding over both cases.

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