Commonwealth’s Attorney: Scott County man sentenced for indecent acts with children

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WISE, Va. (WJHL) — The Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp revealed that a Duffield man was sentenced after pleading guilty to reproducing child pornography and “taking indecent liberties” with male children — one reported to have been 8 years old.

Thomas D. Shortt, 46, was sentenced in two different districts for his offenses that spanned across two Southwest Virginia counties.

In Wise County, Shortt pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent liberties with a minor child and received a 40-year sentence in the penitentiary with 15 years suspended — an active term of 25 years in prison.

Shortt pleaded guilty to six counts of reproducing child pornography and four counts of taking indecent liberties with a child in Scott County, receiving another active term of 25 years in prison.

Following his release for both terms, Shortt will be on probation for 50 years and must register as a sex offender.

A release from the attorney’s office said evidence in the case found that Shortt “took indecent liberties” with an 8-year-old male child in Wise County in 2012.

In 2018, Shortt committed the abuse again with two male children, according to the release.

Between 2015 and 2018 in Scott County, Shortt “took indecent liberties with a child at his home in Duffield on at least two occasions and reproduced child pornography that he downloaded from the internet on at least six occasions.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp thanked the agencies that led to Shortt’s indictment and sentences.

“Sexual crimes against children are the most vile and destructive offenses that we prosecute,” Slemp said. “It is especially difficult for the victims of offenses like these to have to recount years of abuse in court and relive the trauma.  That is why I am thankful for the diligent efforts of our law enforcement officials and child advocates to ensure that this sexual predator was brought to justice and held accountable for his evil acts.  Our community can take comfort in knowing that Mr. Shortt will spend the next several decades behind bars.” 

Agencies that assisted throughout the investigation include the Wise County Sheriff’s Department, Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Southwest Virginia Children’s Advocacy Center, Wise County Department of Social Services, among others.

Shortt remains in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail at Duffield and is awaiting transfer to the Virginia Department of Corrections.

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