RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - John Douglas Steele, 57, of Chesterfield County, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to receipt of child pornography, according to reports from the United States Attorney's Office.
The sentencing of the defendant is scheduled for December 21, before Senior United States District Judge Richard L. Williams.
According to court documents, Steele left his cell phone in the men's restroom of the defendant's place of employment. An individual found the phone and turned it in to building security. The cell phone contained hundreds of sexually explicit images involving children. After conducting a forensic examination of the phone and determining the defendant's place of residence, Richmond Police Detectives, with the assistance of the Chesterfield Police Department, executed a search warrant at the defendant's Chesterfield residence and recovered computers, CD disks and other computer media.
A subsequent forensic examination of these items revealed thousands of images and movies of child pornography downloaded from the Internet and saved on several computer hard drives. The recovered images and movies consisted of graphic depictions of minors being sexually abused, including minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct with adults. Also recovered were approximately 380 homemade videos of the defendant stalking young children in public and secretly filming their mid-sections and backsides.
This case was investigated by the Richmond Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Chesterfield Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Gene Fishel, of the Virginia Attorney General's Office, prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.