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TMCNet:  City man charged in child porn case

[August 09, 2011]

City man charged in child porn case

SHAMOKIN, Aug 06, 2011 (The News-Item - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Shamokin man arraigned Friday faces multiple counts of child pornography, after investigators downloaded from his computer sexually explicit videos of children being abused.

Pennsylvania State Police charged John H. Straub Jr., 31, of 132 W. Willow St., Shamokin, with 16 counts of sexual abuse of children, a felony of the third-degree charge, after a search warrant found several illicit files on Straub's laptop computer.

He was arraigned Friday afternoon by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic, of Shamokin, and placed in prison on $50,000 cash bail.

Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Thomas W. Trusal reported in court documents that police were alerted to the files through a referral from Det. Justin Leri of the Lackawanna County District Attorney's office, who was conducting an investigation on April 27 on the distribution of child pornography over the Internet.

Using peer-to-peer file sharing sites, Leri found a computer sharing files of child pornography and noted its Internet Protocol (IP) address for tracking purposes.

A search of the suspect computer found 37 different files being shared through the address. Police noted the computer's globally unique identifier (GUID).

Through a single-source connection with the suspect computer, Leri downloaded three files of illicit acts involving children aged 13 years and younger.

Leri served a grand jury subpoena to the Internet provider for the name and address associated with the IP address. The address was Straub's residence on West Willow Street.

Leri then compiled all the reports and evidence and gave it to Trusal for further prosecution.

A search warrant, obtained through Gembic, was served Friday at the Straub home, where a laptop computer owned by John Straub Jr. was found. The laptop contained video files, including two of the three downloaded by Leri during the initial investigation.

Officers also matched the GUID on Straub's computer to those matching in the initial investigation.

Trusal reported in the affidavit that Straub was interviewed and allegedly admitted that he downloaded the child pornography files found on the computer and admitted he knew they were being shared on the Internet and accessible by anyone.

A preliminary hearing will be held at a later date.

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