Columbiana man sentenced on child porn charges

A Columbiana man will spend nearly two decades in jail after he was sentenced for child porn charges in U.S. District Court Feb. 13.

Justin Blake Tidwell, 27, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and placed on supervised probation for the rest of his life for possessing more than 600 images of child pornography between July and August 2009, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Northern District of Alabama office.

Tidwell pleaded guilty to the crime in October 2009 after the case was investigated by the FBI, the Birmingham Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

Tidwell had been previously convicted on state charges of sexual abuse before he was arrested for the child porn charges.

According to court records, Tidwell possessed multiple images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including a girl younger than six.

“Each child pictured in pornography is a victim when the image is made, and again each time it is viewed,” U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance wrote in a press release. “The availability of pornography on the Internet makes that repeated victimization almost endless.

“Criminals who create child pornography and those who encourage its production by paying to view it or by passing it around the Internet will be prosecuted,” she said.