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Florissant, Missouri, man accused of possessing child pornography

A Florissant, Missouri, man who worked as a high school tennis coach and substitute teacher has been indicted in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri, for allegedly engaging in Internet pornography crimes.

The man, 49, has been charged with possession of child pornography. Authorities claim that an investigator found child pornography on a peer-to-peer file sharing site. According to an affidavit filed with the court, FBI agents downloaded the child pornography from a web file-sharing account earlier in the year. The affidavit alleges that the agents traced the IP address accessing the account to the man; the FBI then searched his home and seized a computer as evidence.

Prosecutors say that the man admitted he had more than 1,000 images and videos and that he received nude images after responding to online personal ads from individuals claiming to be underage. The man's attorney indicated that the man planned to plead not guilty to the charges.

A spokesman for the school district where the man worked as a substitute teacher said that he had been removed from the high school's substitute teacher list, and that he had passed a full background check before beginning employment with the school.

Unfortunately, it is possible for material to be inadvertently downloaded from peer-to-peer networks. Also, material can be embedded in other files, such as zip files, downloaded from the Internet. Either way, law-abiding citizens could get falsely accused. In any case, getting help from attorneys skilled in defending those accused of sex crimes can sometimes mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Tennis coach and substitute teacher faces child porn charges," Robert Patrick, May 3, 2012

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