Crime At Your Fingertips: Local Child Pornography Charges

Katherine Graves ~ Assistant Editor

A man was arrested near the Lynchburg College campus last month on charges of possessing child pornography.

Shawn Kearns, 39, was arrested on 10 counts of possessing child pornography Aug. 25.  Lynchburg police executed a search warrant at Kearns’ Old Forest Rd. townhome Aug. 17 and seized computers and cell phones.  Those items produced “electronic evidence,” according to police.

Kearns, who goes by the name “DJ Rant,” was “sharing child pornography online,” according to a WDBJ7 article.

Students on the LC campus were surprised and concerned to learn about Kearns’ arrest.

“My first thought, if I were to encounter this, would be to call the police,” said junior Kimberly Butler. “I don’t think other students on campus would know what to do if they encountered [child pornography] because it’s not a widely talked about issue on campus.”

This is not the first time evidence of child pornography has been found by police near campus. In May 2015, then first-year student Ryan Cabrera was arrested and expelled from LC for having child pornography on his laptop, according to an article from The News & Advance. Police found over 100 images involving children between the ages of 3 and 10 on Cabrera’s laptop. Cabrera was caught after uploading images to an online account. He was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison, according to another article from The News & Advance.

“You always hear about it happening, but I think it’s interesting how prominent this issue is in the Lynchburg community,” remarked Butler, commenting on the Kearns’ case.

If you encounter images or videos that you know to be inappropriate and have sexually explicit content, please inform campus security and the Lynchburg Police Department immediately.