10/23/2014 04:50 pm ET Updated Dec 23, 2014

Wilson Longanecker Jr., Former Mayor In Louisiana, Arrested On Child Porn Charge

Louisiana Attorney General's office

NEW ORLEANS, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The former mayor of a small Louisiana city was arrested on Thursday and charged with 40 counts of possessing child pornography, prosecutors said.

Wilson Longanecker Jr., 41, who served as mayor of Sorrento, about 50 miles northwest of New Orleans, from 2011 to 2013, was also charged with one count of obstruction of justice for attempting to hide evidence, prosecutors said.

"Crimes like this illustrate how important it is to actively, aggressively pursue those who exploit our children," said Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell in a statement.

Each of the 41 charges carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, Caldwell's office said.

It was not immediately clear whether Longanecker, who was booked into the Ascension Parish jail, had retained a lawyer. (Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Sandra Maler)