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Police use internet clues to find child pornographer

No one in Lackawanna County is likely to be surprised to learn that the internet is frequently used to view pornography, but some may be surprised to learn that such use is not always anonymous and is not always legal. The recent arrest of a Pittston man for a variety of sex crimes involving internet child pornography illustrates how police can use internet technology to find this type of crime.

The arrest was the end product of an investigation being conducted by the state Attorney General's Child Predator Section into the distribution of child pornography using the Ares P2P file sharing network. The investigators identified an internet address, known as an IP -- "internet protocol" -- address, as a possible source for the downloading of child pornography. Every device connected to the internet has a specific and unique IP address. The investigator viewed several of the files available from that address and found that each displayed child pornography.

The police apparently served a subpoena on Comcast Cable Communications, the cable provider for the IP address. The police learned the street address of the computer in question and obtained a search warrant. The warrant was allegedly executed by special agents of the attorney general's office, Pittston Township police and Lackawanna detectives.

The investigators removed three computers from the house and using computer forensic techniques, were supposedly able to find a number of files containing pornographic videos and photographs of minors involved in sexual acts. The owner of the computers allegedly admitted that he used them to search for child pornography on the internet. The defendant is now awaiting arraignment.

Being charged with a sex crime, regardless of the specific offense, is a very serious matter. Even an acquittal cannot always remove the stain from the accused's reputation. Therefore, it is important for anyone accused of viewing or downloading child pornography to raise an aggressive defense.

Source: Citizens Voice, "Pittston man charged with child porn," Charlotte L. Jacobson, July 14, 2015

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