Former Yazoo Co. deputy pleads guilty to two counts of producing child pornography

Jail image. (Stock photo)
Jail image. (Stock photo)(MGN)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A former Yazoo County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography.

In April, Jonathan Purvis pleaded guilty to two counts of an eight-count indictment related to knowingly permitting a minor to engage in sexual conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of it.

He is expected to be sentenced on September 1, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

Court records indicate that Purvis was the “parent and person having custody and control of” the minors in both incidents.

Purvis faces up to 30 years in prison, lifetime post-release supervision, and a fine of $250,000 on each charge.

Yazoo County Sheriff Jake Sheriff said Purvis was a deputy for about four years before leaving the department. Afterward, he served as a reserve deputy up to the time of his arrest.

Sheriff described Purvis as a “good deputy,” but did not know what was going on in his personal life.

Purvis was indicted by a federal grand jury in September.

According to court records, he enticed or attempted to entice at least four minors to make pornography. The court seized his cell phone and laptop computer believed to be used in the process.

Purvis pleaded guilty to using a hidden camera to record two minors “bathing and undressing, for the purpose of producing a visual depiction that he had reason to know... would be transported or transmitted using any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce.”

The crimes occurred on or around March 14, 2021, and December 4, 2020. Each time, the camera was hidden on a bathroom towel shelf, according to the indictment.

Magistrate Judge Keith Ball awarded Purvis a $10,000 bond following a detention hearing on September 29, 2021. District Judge Tom Lee revoked Purvis’ bond after the defendant entered a guilty plea.

An attorney for Purvis filed a motion to reinstate the bond on May 26.

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