Shelby County man to serve 18 years on child pornography conviction

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – A Columbiana man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for possessing child pornography.

27-year-old Justin Blake Tidwell received his sentence on Wednesday from U.S. Distric Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn. Tidwell will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life after completing his prison term and also must register as a sex offender.

According to the plea agreement, Tidwell possessed more than 600 images of child pornography on a computer between July and August of 2009. Some of the images depicted a child less than 6-years-old in sexually explicit conduct.

Tidwell faced a maximum 20-year sentence for past state convictions of sexual abuse.

"Each child pictured in pornography is a victim when the image is made, and again each time it is viewed," Vance said. "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.