CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Erica Lord and Jennifer Meadows seem an unlikely team to be attacking one of the county's ugliest crimes - child pornography.
With their perspective as mothers of young children themselves, combined with their skills as prosecuting attorneys, they intend to play an important role in combating that scourge.
"There's no child ever coming into court in these cases, but they are victimized every time their picture is shared on the Internet," said Lord. "They don't have a voice in court."
Lord and Meadows will handle all of the county's child porn cases, in addition to their other criminal files, and it's a task that can be overwhelming emotionally.
"It's sad," Lord said. "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. I focus on doing my job, because if I don't these people are going to walk. And these images will be showed over and over again."
Meadows said, "I have two young daughters, and I think anytime you can put yourself in a position to protect children - it's important to this office and to me personally.
"It's hard," Meadows admits about dealing with the disturbing evidence. "You have to look at these images and get them ready for trial. Once you get them in your head, it can be hard to get them out."
But the two hope to indict at least three to five child pornographers in each term of the grand jury.
Most of those defendants, presented with the evidence, will plead guilty. The attorneys are prepared to proceed to trial when necessary.
Assistant Prosecutor Dan Holstein said, "The prosecutors on these cases have to have an understanding of how these technological things and computer evidence work to effectively handle the cases.
"These cases are not pleasant to deal with," he said. "But once you learn how to do them, you are better able to present them to a jury."
"We can make a dent in it," Meadows said. "And bring some justice to these victims whose pictures are being shared on the Internet."