Summary: A prominent attorney from the Putnam County area has been charged with possession of child pornography.
A lawyer from Putnam County and former assistant prosecuting Attorney for Kanawha County will face federal court charges of child Pornography. Putnam County attorney Stephen Sluss has been charged with receipt of child pornography.
Police starting investigating many months ago in May when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was alerted to an online group chat site. Apparently a user had uploaded an image that was flagged as possible child pornography.
They were able to obtain the user’s name and IP address from the report. The IP address was traced back to Scott Depot. Later that month, they gathered more information from a subpoena. They were able to connect the user name “mckicker40” to the initial report. As trooper Talia Davita of the Crimes Against Child Unit explained in the complaint, Sluss entered chat site ChatStep on or before April 1, using the “mckicker40” screenname. On May 13, ChatStep reported the possible image to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Divita was able to review the image and confirm that the image is of a minor female, approximately 12 to 15 years old in a sexual position.
The federal indictment filed December 4 details how the subscriber of the IP address used when the child porn image was uploaded belonged to Sluss. He was an Attorney at Law located on the 300 block of Beechwood Estates in Scott Depot.
A special agent was sent to the location of the IP address owner, where Sluss admitted to using the chat site. He claimed he used the site to download child porn to his home computer. The videos were saved in a folder on his computer labeled “my videos.”
The investigators seized two computers from his home. They searched his hard drives and found the specific uploaded image that started the entire investigation from the chat site was found on his computer. They also found other videos of young girls from the age of five to seven years old.
He will appear in court in two days on December 14 for a hearing on the child pornography charges before U.S. Magistrate Cheryl Eifert. The U.S. Marshals have him in custody in Kentucky.
Sluss served over twenty years as an employee of Kanawha County. He held several positions from chief counsel to the assessor to county manager. He also served in the House of Delegates and in the 80s as a Mineral County commissioner. He is fairly active in the community, receiving membership to the Rotary club last year.
According to the Rotary’s website, Sluss received his undergraduate degree from Marshall and his J.D. from West Virginia University. He claims to enjoy motorcycling in his spare time. He is married with a son and daughter.
Sluss has retained Mark Plants to represent him.
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To learn more about attorneys accused of child pornography, read these articles:
- Illinois Attorney Ralph Tellefsen III Kept “Nauseating” Amounts of Child Porn
- California’s Deputy Attorney General Charged with Child Pornography Possession
- Attorney Christopher Young Charged with Child Pornography