Lancaster Student Charged with Child Pornography Offences in the U.S.

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Lancaster student Naran Francis Darjaa has been charged in Virginia in the United States with multiple child-pornography offences. Mr. Darjaa, who was studying abroad at the University of Richmond, was charged with one count of reproduction of child pornography and three counts of possession by Richmond City Police, according to court records.

The University of Richmond’s student newspaper, The Collegian, broke the news of the charges, discovered through court records. Richmond Police Department arrested Darjaa on February the 20th according to Beth Simonds, URPD assistant chief of Police.

Cynthia Price, Associate Vice-President of Media and Public Relations for Richmond, confirmed that Mr Darjaa was undertaking classes at the University.

First reported by The Collegian – according to Richmond University’s Police Department Crime Log – the offences were reported on the 20th February, with the possession offences said to have taken place in December and the distribution offence in February.

Under ‘Obscenity and Related Offenses’ in the Code of Virginia, ‘any person who knowingly possesses child pornography is guilty of a Class 6 felony.’ 

The code says: ‘Any person who knowingly reproduces by any means, including by computer, sells, gives away, distributes, electronically transmits, displays, purchases, or possesses with intent to sell, give away, distribute, transmit, or display child pornography’ shall receive a punishment of no less than ‘five years nor more than 20 years in a state correctional facility.’ 

Again reported by The Collegian, according to Beth Simonds, URPD assistant chief of Police, Richmond Detective Mary Gary-Ford was on the case and is now listed as the plaintiff. Gary-Ford works in internet crimes against children.

The arrest was not an FBI operation, according to Linsey Stem, special agent in the FBI Richmond field office.

Mr Darjaa’s court case is set for the end of March at Richmond-John Marshall Criminal-Traffic General District Court. 

SCAN contacted Arrman Kyaw, Managing Editor and journalist for The Collegian who broke the story, who did not offer comment or opinion. 

The University of Richmond was approached for comment.

Lancaster University was contacted for a statement by SCAN. They have refused to comment. 

Olivia Kenny

Hi! I'm Olivia (but everyone calls me Liv) and I'm the Associate Editor for SCAN for 2019-2020. I was previously the News Editor and have contributed to the section since the beginning of my first year. Now in my third year, SCAN is a huge part of my University life. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you!

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