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Child Porn Charges

Bishop pleads guilty to producing and possessing.

After being indicted by the grand jury in May for producing and possessing child pornography, a Chantilly man pleaded guilty as charged, Monday morning, in Fairfax County Circuit Court. He is George Paul Bishop, 46, of 4156 Pleasant Meadow Court.

"DO YOU FULLY understand the nature of the charges against you today?" asked Judge Leslie Alden. "Yes, your Honor," replied Bishop. "Are you entering your pleas of guilt because you are guilty of these charges?" she asked. Again, he replied affirmatively.

Bishop's illegal doings first came to light in January, when police Det. Peter Charles, of the Child Services Section, presented details in two affidavits for search warrants. He sought possible evidence in Bishop's home, as well as in the home of Richard Wendall Evans, 66, of Annandale. On Jan. 28, both men were arrested.

In a Jan. 7 affidavit, Charles stated that illegalities were allegedly occurring at Bishop's Rockland Village home between July and October 2004. He said he'd obtained his information, Dec. 20, 2004, from a now 17-year-old boy — who Charles called "Victim One" — who'd frequented Bishop's home on the lower level of a townhouse.

The detective wrote that the boy was a high-school student and, after school, he and other students had gone to Bishop's home numerous times reportedly "to drink alcohol and ingest illegal narcotics."

He stated that the teen called Bishop "Paul" and told police that Paul had, on occasion, "videotaped and photographed the juveniles in his residence. Victim One remembers seeing one of these pictures used as a screen saver on Paul's personal computer."

In the Jan. 19 affidavit requesting to search Evan's home, Charles noted that, among items seized by police, Jan. 7, at Bishop's home were computer hard drives, pictures and videotapes. "On these videotapes are images of naked individuals — one of which appeared to be underage," wrote the detective. "The acts depicted on these videotapes by this juvenile include posing naked and being fondled and dressed in bondage apparel by two adult males."

He stated it was a VHS tape and was "clearly labeled 'Paul's'. One of these individuals in the tape is identified as Bishop." Charles wrote that Evans' driver's license photo reportedly matched the other adult on that tape.

HE ALSO NOTED that, on Jan. 18, the teen-ager depicted on the tape was positively identified as Victim One. During an interview with himself and other detectives, wrote Charles, "Victim One admitted to being naked in the pictures and in the video. [He] remembers Bishop filming him as he was being dressed in bondage apparel."

On Jan. 28, police charged Bishop with six counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of manufacturing child pornography. They charged Evans with two counts of manufacturing child pornography. Later, in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, five of Bishop's possession charges were dropped.

And on May 23, the grand jury indicted Bishop on the remaining possession charge, plus the two manufacturing offenses. Evans was indicted on one manufacturing charge.

In court Monday, June 27, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Julie Mitchell said Bishop became acquainted with the teen in fall 2004, while providing alcohol and marijuana for him and other teen-agers in his Chantilly home.

"Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2004, they visited Evans' apartment," she said. "[There], the 17-year-old was photographed in various stages of undress — including in leather bondage gear." Mitchell said the original tape was 8 mm and Bishop transferred it to VHS tape. She also noted the evidence police seized at his home, Jan. 7.

Defense attorney Dawn Butorac told Judge Alden that Bishop protested Mitchell's statement about him hosting gatherings providing alcohol and drugs for teen-agers.

Furthermore, said Butorac, "The two productions of pornography were the exact same image, so it was really just one production." As for the 17-year-old, she said, "His was a consensual act. He voluntarily took part in the actions."

ALDEN THEN accepted Bishop's three guilty pleas and officially found him guilty. Following his arrest, Bishop had been released from jail on $8,000 bond and, after his conviction, the prosecutor asked the judge to revoke his bond and incarcerate him. Said Mitchell: "He's a danger to the community, and especially to the juvenile members of the community."

But Butorac stressed that her client's "been present at four previous court appearances." She said he'd already been ordered by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge to have no contact with minors. She also said he's lived in this area for 15 years, works for a towing company and, at his sentencing, she intends to request probation for him.

Earlier, Alden ascertained from Bishop that no plea agreement had been made in his case. She also made sure he understood that he could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison on each of the production charges and five years behind bars for the possession charge.

In the end, though, she continued Bishop's bond and set his sentencing for Aug. 19. Evans is slated to enter a plea July 5 in Circuit Court.