Guilty Plea Expected in Child-Related Crime

(Canton, Ohio) – A Canton man is expected to plead guilty this week to federal child pornography charges.

70-year-old Marshall Belden Jr. is charged with possession of child pornography and receipt and distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. According to reports, the case has been pending since January 2017.

Records filed in U.S. District Court noted a change of plea hearing has been set for Thursday before a federal magistrate in Cleveland. Reports also indicate he is accused of downloading nearly 20 child pornography files. According to investigators, a search of his home led to the discovery of a computer and other items containing child pornography.

Defense attorneys note his past, which has included the deaths of several family members, including his son, contains a lot of trauma. They cite ‘extreme stress’ stemming from business issues.

Belden is a former officer with the Canton-based MB Operating CO., a family-owned energy business sold in the late 1990s.

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