An art teacher at a Sterling, Virginia, elementary school will spend the next 13 years in prison following a conviction on 50 charges of child pornography possession.
Ralph Watts Conrad III, 43, of Hamilton, Virginia, was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday, with all but 13 years suspended. He will also be placed on 20 years supervised probation upon his release.
Conrad worked for Loudoun County Public Schools for 15 years. Most recently, he taught at Algonkian Elementary School.
Over the years, Conrad had also worked as an itinerant art teacher at several other elementary schools: Belmont Station, Creighton's Corner, Frances Hazel Reid, Legacy, Lowe's Island and Mill Run.
In August 2013, a special agent told Loudoun County authorities that while investigating a Russian website that allowed users to access child pornography, she'd found a Loudoun County user.
After further investigation, authorities say they zeroed in on Conrad. Loudoun Sheriff's Deputies searched his home and seized cameras, hard drives, computers and other electronic equipment.
They say Conrad's devices revealed more than 500 videos and more than 2,700 images of child pornography. Some children shown were as young as two or three years old, authorities said.
"Thankfully, there is no evidence that any of the images or videos were manufactured in Loudoun County, nor is there any indication that any local children were victimized," said Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman.
Conrad pleaded guilty to 50 counts of possession of child pornography on April 11.
"The Court rejects the suggestion that this is a victimless crime," said Judge Stephen E. Sincavage. "Child subjects are victimized every time someone looks at or views the videos and images."
Upon his release from prison, Conrad will be prohibited from having any unsupervised contact with minors, must remain more than 100 feet from any school, and successfully complete a sex offender treatment program.
He will also be required to register as a sex offender.