Former Lee County teacher sentenced on sex crimes

Published 1:52 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A former Lee County teacher and church choir director was formally sentenced on Monday to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty last year of child pornography charges.

Robert Edward Widener, 61, was convicted in April 2018 of soliciting child pornography and using an electronic device to solicit child pornography. When convicted, the jury recommended the 20-year prison sentence.

“Mr. Widener’s case is an example of how our justice system is supposed to work. No one is above the law, regardless of his or her status in the community,” said Lee County Commonwealth’s Attorney H. Fuller Cridlin. “A jury decided the case based solely on the evidence presented during the trial. Our mission in every case is to pursue truth and justice. We believe that is what we accomplished here.”

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During the two day trial, evidence was presented that Widener repeatedly requested nude photographs from a 16-year-old student on Snapchat and in text messages. Widener also proposed meeting the same student for oral sex on multiple occasions.

WCYB Bristol contributed to information in this story.