William G. VanSant, 51, of Alexandria pleaded guilty to federal charges of possession of child pornography and traveling the interstate to D.C. to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, according to a recent news release from the FBI.
U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Cathy L. Lanier, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) made the announcement last week Thursday.
According to evident, on March 20, VanSant contacted an undercover officer with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force who had posted a message on a website that is often visited by individuals who have a sexual interest in children. VanSant continued to engage in conversation with the undercover officer for the next few days. VanSant was under the impression that the undercover officer was the father of an underaged girl.
During their conversation, VanSant arranged to meet with the undercover officer for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor, according to the news release. VanSant also sent the undercover officer several photos of child pornography. VanSant was arrested March 22 after he traveled from Virginia to D.C. to a pre-arranged meeting place.
With a warrant, officers searched VanSant's residence on March 28. Law enforcement found two laptops, including one that had seven videos and eight images depicting child pornography, according to officials.
VanSant entered the guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for D.C., and the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins will sentence him in early December.
VanSant faces a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for traveling the interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment for possession of child pornography, as well as a fine of $250,000 on each count. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for at least 15 years after his release from prison.