Man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

·1 min read

Sep. 23—PRINCETON — A Mercer County man faces up to 37 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to possession of child pornography.

Matthew Billings, 33, of Rock, pleaded guilty before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope to four counts of possession of child pornography, according to Prosecuting Attorney Brian Cochran. Billings is facing a possible sentence of 13 to 37 years in prison.

Billings was arrested in April 2021 by Detective-Lieutenant S.A. Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff's Department and charged with possession of child pornography depicting violence against a child. The arrest was a result of an investigation involving the Virginia State Police, West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Unit, West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Mercer County Sheriff's Department.

Billings is being held at the Southern Regional Jail. He will be sentenced at a later date after a presentencing investigation and a sex offender evaluation are conducted, Cochran said.

Billings was convicted on Sept. 6, 2012 in Louisiana of carnal knowledge of a juvenile. The victim was a female juvenile between the ages of 13 and 17, according to the West Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry. Billings served approximately three years and eight months at a correctional facility and was given three years of probation.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com