Former sheriff's captain arrested for possession of child pornography spared jail time

40-year-old Donnie Lewis Dixon pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge and was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence.


                            Former sheriff's captain arrested for possession of child pornography spared jail time

A sheriff's captain who was previously charged with distributing child pornography escaped without any jail time after he pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

40-year-old Donnie Lewis Dixon, formerly of the Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office, entered a written agreement with prosecutors in Hannover County General District Court where he agreed to be convicted of the misdemeanor charge in exchange for a 12-month suspended jail sentence.

Dixon was arrested in June and charged with one count of possession of child pornography (Source: Hanover County Sheriff's Office)
Dixon was arrested in June and charged with one count of possession of child pornography (Source: Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dixon was arrested on June 1 this past year after investigators executed a search warrant at his Ashland home. He was subsequently charged with one count of possession of child pornography. He had recently been promoted to captain and had been described as "one of the shining stars" within the office he had joined in 2004, these allegations saw him resign from his post.

Chesterfield Sheriff Karl Leonard corroborated the story and said that back in June, Dixon was one of three captains at the Chesterfield County Jail. Leonard also confirmed that the 40-year-old had started off at the Sheriff's Office as a deputy in 2004 and rapidly risen through the ranks, getting promoted to captain in March.

According to CBS news affiliate WTVR Channel 6, Dixon became the subject of an investigation after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found that someone from the captain's residence was engaged in the downloading of known illicit child pornographic images and videos depicting prepubescent children being sexually abused by an adult.

Dixon later successfully posted bail and the investigation into the accusations continued, with his defense attorney Peter Baruch now revealing that there was not enough evidence to support a felony prosecution in the contentious case. Baruch said there was no document or image produced by the prosecution during the proceedings that suggested the 40-year-old possessed anything illegal on his computer files.

Speaking about the case, Baruch acknowledged the agreement his client had struck would see him spend no time in jail and said, "Rather than run the risk of a trial, we agreed to something that was a misdemeanor, did not involve the need for sex offender registration."

While Dixon's jail sentence is suspended, it will only remain so as long as he abides by a series of conditions. Charlotte Gomer, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Mark Herring's office, which prosecuted the case, said these include the 40-year-old successfully completing therapy and treatment, forfeiting two of his electronic devices, and not having any unsupervised contact with unrelated minors.