Today, Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney William Petty announced that 70-year old Joseph Anthony Dapron pled guilty to felony Possession of Child Pornography. His guilty plea occurred a week before he was scheduled to be tried by a jury. Pursuant to a recommendation by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office the defendant will serve an active 20 year prison sentence. He will not be eligible for release until he is at least 88 years old. Even if he were to complete his active sentence, his prior record virtually ensures he would be subject to Virginia’s civil commitment laws. In addition to this conviction, the defendant has also been indicted by the U.S. Attorneys Office for federal offenses arising out of the abuse of the children identified in the photographs.
In March 2005, Lynchburg Police were contacted by Lynchburg Social Services regarding an 11-year old girl that reported being sexually abused by the defendant. On April 11, 2005, Investigator R.D. Viar of the Lynchburg Police Department executed a search warrant on the defendant's residence in Lynchburg. Inside the residence police recovered more than 100 photographs of children either naked or semi-naked. In many of the photographs, the defendant can be observed engaging in sexual acts with the children. Because the actual sexual abuse took place in jurisdictions other than Lynchburg, the U.S. Attorneys Office agreed to prosecute those offenses.
Dapron has an extensive criminal history out of the state of California. In 1975 he was convicted of a felony sex crime. In 1983 he was again convicted of four felony sex crimes involving children under the age of 14. After completing a penitentiary sentence, the defendant moved to Virginia . In 2001 was convicted of a felony DUI in Campbell County Circuit Court.
“Dapron is a walking example of why courts must impose lengthy sentences in these cases. He is one of the most dangerous pedophiles we have ever dealt with. Today his conviction and lengthy sentence will ensure that he will never again be able to victimize innocent children. I am also pleased that we were able to secure this conviction without further victimizing the children by putting them through the ordeal of a trial. I want to commend Investigator Viar and Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Doucette for their tireless work that led to this conviction", Petty said.