Erwin man facing federal child pornography and kidnapping charges related to May incident


Photo: Carter County Sheriff’s Office

(WJHL) – An Erwin man is now facing federal child pornography and kidnapping charges following an Unicoi County incident in May 2019.

According to federal court documents, Justin Claude Richardson is charged with receipt of child pornography, possession of child pornography and kidnapping of a minor.

The Federal Grand Jury indictment states that “from on or about May 13, 2019, and for at least the preceding six months” Richardson received and possessed child pornography “with the intent to view.”

The documents also reveal the Grand Jury indicted Richardson on kidnapping because he “did unlawfully seize, confine, kidnap, abduct, inveigle, carry away and hold for sexual gratification a minor child.”

In May, Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley told News Channel 11 that Richardson was accused of taking a 5-year-old girl from the 4900 block of Unicoi Drive. The sheriff also said Richardson abandoned her on the side of the road near Volunteer Drive.

The girl was able to identify Richardson in a lineup.

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Federal court documents show Richardson has entered a plea of not guilty. A trial is scheduled for December 10, 2019, in the federal courthouse in Greeneville.

Richardson is being held in the Carter County Jail on a federal hold and no bond.

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