LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Rogersville man has pleaded guilty to multiple child pornography-related charges against him, the Lauderdale District Attorney’s Office confirms.
Michael Joseph Newell, 49, was facing over 300 counts of child pornography, including 152 counts of producing the material and 152 counts of possession.
Investigators said Newell created explicit videos of an 11-year-old girl over the course of several months up until December of 2017. Those videos were later found during a forensic analysis of Newell’s computer and other equipment.
Following his arrest in 2019, Newell was later indicted on the charges. His trial was scheduled to start earlier this week after multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistant District Attorney Angie Hamilton says a plea agreement was made before the trial could begin to protect the victim involved.
“This plea was based on the wishes of the victim and not forcing her to testify,” said Hamilton. “[To not] have her revictimized by allowing the defendant to see the obscene images of her again and not having to expose her images to the jury.”
Hamilton says Newell pleaded guilty to the maximum on five counts of possession of child pornography, with all counts running consecutively.
According to Hamilton, the sentence will include 50 years in prison, followed by five more years of supervision when he is released. Her statement continued, “He has to serve 10 years day for day.”
Newell will also have to register as a sex offender, cannot have electronic devices when released, and will have to waive his right to searches by law enforcement, along with no contact with the victim.