Former Wharton professor Scott Ward will still face additional charges in Pennsylvania despite pleading guilty to child-pornography charges in a Virginia federal court, prosecutors said yesterday.
Ward pled guilty Tuesday to producing child pornography for importation into the United States, and it was expected that the plea would result in a consolidation of that case and another child-pornography case implicating Ward in Pennsylvania.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Levy, who is heading the prosecution in Pennsylvania, said yesterday that Ward's guilty plea in Virginia "did not wrap up this case."
"He reached an agreement with the Eastern District of Virginia Attorney's Office," Levy said, but "he did not reach an agreement with this office."
Levy had said in November that it was possible that a guilty plea would allow a judge to sentence Ward for both cases.
He explained yesterday, however, that the charges to which Ward pled guilty in Virginia were different from the charges he will face in a Pennsylvania federal court.
Ward's Virginia guilty plea covered the production and importation of child pornography found on his laptop computer and several mini-DVDs during a routine check of his luggage at Washington's Dulles Airport last August.
The charges for which Ward will be brought to court in Pennsylvania stem from the discovery of alleged additional child pornography in his Huntsman Hall office in September.
An arrest affidavit signed by Special Agent Richard Stingle said officials found a CD that contained more than 80 still images of a person Stingle believed to be Ward and a boy between the ages of 14 and 15 engaged in "explicit sexual activity."
The affidavit also said that a FedEx box Ward sent to himself contained videos of Ward and the same boy similarly engaged.
Levy said that no date has been set for Ward's trial in Pennsylvania, although it will likely take place sometime after his May 11 sentencing in Virginia.
He added that a separate trial for Ward in Pennsylvania leaves the possibility for consecutive sentences open.
Levy said he is not yet sure what kind of sentence the prosecution will recommend for Ward when he is tried in Pennsylvania.
Ward's charges in Virginia carry a sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.
Ward's lawyers did not return repeated calls for comment.
A former Marketing professor, Ward retired from Penn in 2005, but was still teaching classes through an annual appointment.
University officials announced shortly after his arrest that Ward would no longer teach at Penn.Comments powered by Disqus
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