• Cynic

Diabolical Woman Accused Of Child Porn Production Headed For Mental Testing

*Hat Tip: Phillip King

Devil: Tara Kae Ponceroff

The trial of a Morgantown woman charged with four child pornography counts has been moved from this month to February to allow the defense to explore her mental health.

Assistant Federal Defender Richard Walker said it's possible that behavioral health testing of Tara Kae Ponceroff, 26, could show that she's not competent to stand trial; that she wasn't criminally responsible for her actions; or that her mental health should factor in sentencing if she's convicted.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Perri didn’t oppose the testing, but also said he had no concerns about Ponceroff’s competency or sanity. Perri is expected to seek his own testing of Ponceroff.


Keeley set trial for Feb. 19-22 on the charges of aiding and abetting production of child pornography; production of child pornography, and two counts of transportation of child porn.

Codefendant Ian Michael Toothman, 30, of Jane Lew and Morgantown, previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting production of child porn and will face at least 15 years in federal prison when he’s sentenced.


Devil: Ian Michael Toothman

Toothman admitted taking photographs of Ponceroff having sex with a child under age 12, State Police 1st Sgt. Robert Talkington has testified.

Ponceroff also would face 15 or more years behind bars if convicted of child porn production, and Walker referenced the gravity of that possible sentence in asking Keeley for the postponement.

The veteran defense attorney also told the court he has added Assistant Defender Beth Gross to the case as co-counsel due to the stakes and the complexity of the allegations.


Walker said Ponceroff isn’t familiar with the criminal justice system and has had trouble understanding the process when they’ve visited her in jail to prep for her case.

The public defender also said it’s been difficult to correspond with his client.

Toothman, represented by court-appointed attorneys Shawn Morgan and Brian Bailey, also remains jailed.


Source: https://www.wvnews.com/news/wvnews/morgantown-wv-woman-accused-of-child-porn-production-headed-for/article_fb3f84d3-930b-526f-a027-e21a6ed9f5de.html