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Richmond chef pleads guilty to child porn charge

Posted at 12:16 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 12:16:41-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond chef and bartender John Maher pled guilty to a single charge of receiving child pornography, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court. Per the terms of the plea agreement, Maher faces between five and 20 years in prison and must register as a sex offender.

Richmond Police were first alerted in December 2018 that Maher, who opened The Rogue Gentlemen in 2014 (renamed Rogue in 2018) in Jackson Ward and Yaki in 2017, had uploaded "several images constituting child pornography" to a Dropbox account, according to court documents. Police searched Maher's home in April 2019 and seized his computers.

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The Rogue Gentlemen restaurant in 2015

"A subsequent forensic examination of the MacBook Air revealed that the device was used on April 7, 2019, to access the Internet and download a video depicting child pornography," the court documents indicated. "The video downloaded by Maher onto his MacBook Air is approximately 23 minutes and 29 seconds in duration."

Investigators said the video showed a male minor, who appeared to be approximately 13 to 15 years old, who undresses on camera and masturbates.

Maher is scheduled to be sentenced in February 2023.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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