Strom pleads guilty to child porn

Strom pleads guilty to child porn

Shortly before Judge Norman K. Moon entered Charlottesville’s U.S. District Court on Monday morning, defendant Kevin Alfred Strom was led in shackles and clothed in the customary grey and black striped prison garb. A year after he was arrested and charged with multiple counts of possession of child pornography, he was set to plead guilty to one count, which—as he was later instructed by Moon—carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and a possible $250,000 fine, plus a life of supervision.

“They’re trying to kill me because of the press coverage,” said Kevin Strom, referring to other prisoners he says are threatening him because of his white supremacist background.
Previous coverage:

Kevin Strom; Lunsford names Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney; City drops charges against Mitchell, County Police release video of incident

Rape, murder, kiddie porn and more
2007 courts and crime news in review

Some charges against Strom dropped
Still faces counts for possession of child pornography

Charges false, says neo-Nazi
Kevin Strom barred from seeing his children

Grand jury indicts White supremacist
Neo-Nazi charged for seeking sex with 10-year-old

Neo-Nazi arrested for child porn
National Vanguard leader also allegedly obstructed justice

Even though the guilty plea had already been agreed upon in advance, Judge Moon still had to go through th necessary motions of asking the 51-year-old Strom if he understood what he was about to sign. Was he coerced in any way? the judge wondered. Only by the threats on his life he has received in prison, Strom replied, blaming them on press reports that he is a Neo-Nazi and a white supremacist, “which I am not,” he told the courtroom. A resident of Earlysville, Strom has collaborated on racist, anti-Semitic “American Dissident Voices” radio broadcasts, has posted nationalist messages on and was involved in a 2005 incident in which copies of “The Aryan Alternative” were distributed in Charlottesville. According to an intelligence report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, Strom has been “a major American neo-Nazi leader for almost 20 years.”

Regardless, he maintained that the media’s portrayal of him was leading to threats on his life from other prisoners. “They’re trying to kill me because of the press coverage,” he said. “I deeply resent the way I’ve been characterized. I’m no more a white supremacist than the Dalai Lama is. I love my people just as he does.” With that, Strom executed the guilty plea and a sentencing hearing was scheduled for April 21. Judge Moon then called a recess and left the room, leaving Strom to once again be handcuffed and led away.

As a few onlookers milled about in the gallery, two Strom supporters stood, one who identified himself as John Justice, a family friend. Aged with a full beard and long thinning hair, Justice indicated that Strom pleaded guilty because of a fear of a jury conviction had his case gone to trial. If it had proceeded, Strom would have faced conviction on several counts of child pornography. Earlier charges of witness tampering and trying to entice a 10-year-old to engage in sexual activity were dismissed in October. Justice attributed Strom’s plea not to any actual guilt but to a wife “who is trying to destroy his life.”

A tattoed, sleeveless Elisha Strom—who testified against her husband in earlier court proceedings—stood nearby but then headed for the door and the elevator. Was she satisfied with the plea? “Not exactly,” she said. What had she hoped for? “Death.”

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