A preliminary hearing is scheduled this morning for a McDowell County man who was arrested last week on 20 counts of possession of child pornography.

Jacob Leroy Nealen, 72, of Avondale, was arrested o April 3, following an investigation by Detective R.L. Blevins along with Sgt. David Eldridge of the West Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Blevins received a complaint of sexual abuse by a guardian and initiated the investigation. Additional charges are pending and are awaiting a digital forensic examination of the defendant’s electronic devices, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Nealen appeared before McDowell County Magistrate Daniel Mitchell who ordered the defendant held on a $50,000 all-cash bond. Nealen was remanded to Southwestern Regional Jail waiting for his preliminary hearing this afternoon at 1:45 p.m.

“The case is still under investigation,” Sgt. James E. Muncy Jr., of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office said.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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