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Archive for Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lawrence man ordered to stand trial on child pornography charges

October 10, 2012

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Douglas County District Court Judge Michael Malone on Wednesday ordered a 44-year-old Lawrence man — arrested in September — to stand trial on three child pornography charges.

At Wednesday’s preliminary hearing in the case, Detective T.J. Shavers from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office testified about discovering the man’s Internet Protocol, or IP, address during a search of child pornography videos and photos on the online file-sharing program “Ares.”

In May, Shavers was able to upload several videos stored on the man’s computer and available for upload by other users of Ares. Shavers described several of the videos as displaying children, and in one case a toddler, engaged in sexual acts.

Shavers contacted the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and notified it about the case, since the IP address belonged to an account of a man living in Lawrence. The sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant of the man’s apartment and seized his computer and several floppy disks, some of which also contained images of child pornography, according to the testimony of Douglas County Sheriff’s Detective Dean Ohman.

Ohman also testified about the results of a forensic examination of the man’s computer, which included numerous searches for terms associated with child pornography.

During cross examination of the detectives, the man’s defense attorney, Michael Clarke, opened the door to the possibility that other people may have had access to his client’s computer.

During police questioning, the man said that some pornographic images may have been inadvertently downloaded, but that he tried to erase or delete them without viewing them, according to Ohman’s testimony.

The man is currently free on a $50,000 bond. The three charges all fall under the sexual exploitation of a minor criminal statute and, depending on criminal history, each carries penalties of up to 136 months in prison.

The Journal-World does not generally name sex-crime suspects unless they’re convicted.

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