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No house arrest for child porn offender

COURTLAND — A Suffolk man who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in Southampton County Circuit Court will not be allowed to serve his sentence in home confinement.

The attorney for Christopher Keith Hicks, 35, last week requested house arrest, which Chief Circuit Court Judge Westbrook J. Parker turned down on Tuesday.

“He signed a plea agreement,” Parker said. “And I’m not changing the agreement.”

Parker ordered Hicks report to jail to begin serving his two-year sentence on June 2.

Hicks was arrested outside Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library on College Drive in Franklin in November 2008. He was charged with reproducing, selling, distributing or electronically transmitting child pornography and using a communications system to solicit a person over the Internet, with reason to believe the person is a juvenile.

Hicks entered a plea last month and was sentenced to two years. However Hicks’ attorney, Tom Watkins, said Hicks should be allowed to serve his sentence in home confinement, given his numerous medical conditions.

The case was continued to allow time to get an opinion from the commonwealth’s attorney’s office in Suffolk, since that’s where Hicks lives.

“Given the nature of the sex charges” against Hicks, home confinement “would be inappropriate,” said Marie Walls, Suffolk’s senior assistant commonwealth’s attorney.

However, Watkins said Tuesday, Suffolk had no bearing in the case.

“I don’t believe the commonwealth’s attorney in Suffolk has any standing to object to it,” he said.