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Preliminary hearing date in child porn case set

The preliminary hearing for Charles Greer Gatten, of Franklin, in connection to several charges related to child pornography is set for Aug. 16 at 1 p.m. in Franklin City General District Court.

Charles Greer Gatten

Gatten, now 67, was arrested at his home in the 200 block of Meadow Lane on Nov. 13 on three counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of the distribution of child pornography.

In the criminal complaint written by Detective R.L. Bailey, Bailey stated that Ryan Hartman, who is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and an investigator with Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, completed a substantial amount of work on this case before it was forwarded to the Franklin Police Department.

Bailey wrote in the complaint that on July 12, 2020, at IP address 47.133.95.58, child pornography was transmitted over Yahoo mail.

An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a numeric address given to a computer connected to the internet.

“I was able to look at the images and video that Yahoo reported as child pornography,” Bailey wrote. He later added, “These videos and picture (were) sent from an Android device to the Yahoo email account owned by Charles Gatten.”

Sgt. Scott Halverson stated in November that Gatten was being held with no bond at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail. 

Capt. Tanya Blair, of WTRJ, responded to an inquiry July 12, 2021, stating that Gatten bonded out on a $15,000 bond on Nov. 16.

In the initial announcement to media in November, the FPD stated, “The Franklin Police Department would like to thank the Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, Southampton County Sheriff’s Office and Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.”