Kent man faces child porn charge

Part of nationwide crackdown against online child sex offenders

King County prosecutors charged a 29-year-old Kent man as part of the nationwide crackdown against online child sex offenders during a three-month operation “Broken Heart” by law enforcement agencies.

Andrew Mark Reid faces one count of first-degree dealing in depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to charging papers filed June 1 in King County Superior Court. King County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Reid May 31 at his Kent apartment. He was in jail for one day before posting $50,000 bail, according to jail records. Reid is scheduled to be arraigned June 14 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The U.S. Department of Justice this week announced more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders were arrested during the investigation conducted by Internet Crimes Against Children. Forty-seven arrests were in Washington, including the one in Kent, for offenders who were sharing images of child sexual abuse over peer-to-peer networks.

A Seattle Police detective conducted an online search on the BitTorrent network offenders use to share child pornography that reportedly led to an IP computer address for Reid showing he had downloaded files over several months. A judge authorized a search warrant for Reid’s apartment. Reid agreed to talk to a detective about the case.

Reid told the detective he just looks at child porn and wouldn’t act it out on children. He said he’s had issues since at least age 16 when his father caught him looking at porn. He said that he had looked at pictures of children under age 10 and that he has masturbated to children ages 5 and up. He said he doesn’t know what drives him to child pornography and he feels bad for what he is doing.

Detectives reportedly found more than 47,000 files of child porn on Reid’s computer.

Sixty-one task forces, located in all 50 states and comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, led the coordinated operation known as “Broken Heart” during the months of March, April and May 2018, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office media release. During the course of the operation, the task forces investigated more than 25,200 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes against children and delivered more than 3,700 presentations on internet safety to more than 390,000 youth and adults.

“No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the press release. “And yet, in recent years, certain forms of modern technology have facilitated the spread of child pornography and created greater incentives for its production. We at the Department of Justice are determined to strike back against these repugnant crimes. It is shocking and very sad that in this one operation, we have arrested more than 2,300 alleged child predators and investigated some 25,200 sexual abuse complaints. Any would-be criminal should be warned: this department will remain relentless in hunting down those who victimize our children.”

“Sadly, Washington state consistently ranks among the top states for the sharing of images of child rape and molestation across peer-to-peer file sharing networks,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “I commend the investigators who do the difficult work of investigating those who create and share these horrific images. Their work puts predators behind bars where they cannot continue to hurt children.”

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