Former Christiansburg police officer sentenced to 40 years for distribution and possession of child pornography

Ethan Michael Havens, 26, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court to three counts of distribution and two counts of possession of child pornography


RICHMOND – Former Christiansburg Police Department Officer Ethan Michael Havens, 26, of Christiansburg, has pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court to three counts of distribution of child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to three years of active imprisonment with an additional 37 years suspended. Attorney General Mark R. Herring made the announcement after the guilty plea was accepted by Circuit Court Judge Robert M.D. Turk.

“Anyone who possess and distributes child pornography must be held accountable for contributing to the exploitation of children, but especially when that person is a law enforcement officer who has taken an oath to protect his community,” said Attorney General Herring. “My team and I remain dedicated to keeping dangerous individuals off of our streets and out of our communities. I want to thank my team for their hard work as well as our local and state partners for their continued collaboration on important cases like this one.”

Evidence presented in court showed that Havens had distributed four images of child pornography through his Twitter account, all of which depicted the sexual exploitation of minor females. Officers subsequently interviewed Havens who admitted to viewing child pornography on his cell phone and to exchanging child pornographic images through Twitter. A subsequent forensic examination of his seized cell phone revealed 38 saved images of child pornography. Havens was employed as a police officer with the Christiansburg Police Department when he committed the crimes. As part of the plea, Havens will have to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction where he works or resides following imprisonment.

This case was investigated by the Virginia State Police, as part of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant Attorney General Cynthia Paoletta of Attorney General Herring’s Computer Crime Section prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.