Child porn image search crosses 5 states - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Child porn image search crosses 5 states

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

An investigation into a child pornography image that's gone viral is spanning across nearly five states, according to the Memphis Police Department.

"The image has kind of gone across the country and there's other jurisdictions working on it as well, so we're working with those other ICAC units from these other jurisdictions to try to pin down where the victim actually is," says Lt. Wilton Cleveland with the MPD Internet Crimes Against Children unit.

Police arrested Internet radio host and blogger Thaddeus Matthews, 55, on Wednesday for posting child porn image on his Facebook page.

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"There was a child I felt was in danger. I went after the perpetrator of the child," says Matthews, "The concern should be that if there is a child that is being sexually abused in this community then it ain't about Thaddeus. ... I think it reeks of politics."

Matthew is now charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. MPD says the last charge holds a minimum state sentence of eight years in jail.

"Maybe it could've been handled a little bit differently," Matthews said. "I go back to my primary concern was nothing malicious, nothing that was criminally intended. I got the information and it's been sent everywhere. It was viral before I got it."

Police say they are now also pursuing others who posted the picture on their Facebook pages or e-mailed the image out. According to the law, they too could face charges similar to Matthews.

It's a crime to post any pornographic images of children on the Internet no matter what the reason.

"If they decide to repost this image then they're actually manipulating the image which means they're taking possession of it, which is inappropriate," says Cleveland.

Police say if you want to help them find the one responsible for this child pornography, call MPD immediately. If you receive a pornographic picture involving a child on your email or see it on Facebook, leave the computer as is and contact police. MPD says they will come to you and take action finding the source from there.

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