2 juveniles charged for posting child porn - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

2 juveniles charged for posting child porn

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

 

Two juveniles have been charged by the Memphis Police's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit for posting and e-mailing a pornographic image involving a small child.

Police charged the two teens ages 13 and 16 with Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

Three people - a 55-year-old man and the two underage teens - have been arrested in recent weeks associated with distributing this pornographic image of a small child on the Internet. Additional arrests are expected, police said.

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Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said Memphis police, county sheriff's deputies, and federal agents are taking this investigation very seriously.

"Everybody is governed by the laws of the State of Tennessee and as I've said we're talking very serious felonies," DA Weirich said. "You know if you receive these images, and depending on what you do with those images, makes that grade of felony go up even more. So, this is very serious and as well it should be because we're talking about our children our most valuable and vulnerable resource."

The child porn image is the same image Memphis Internet radio host Thaddeus Matthews posted on his Facebook site.

After briefly posting the image of his Facebook page, Matthews was charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. He is due back in court Nov. 30.

The teens were arrested Friday after police found they were responsible for distributing the same image of the small child via Facebook.

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

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," Memphis ICAC Lt. Wilton Cleveland told FOX13 News on Nov. 15.

"Make sure you know where your kids are, who they're hanging out with, what are they looking at when they're on their phones or when they're on their computers," she said. "If they're at somebody's home what kind of mechanisms are in place to keep your child safe and to keep other children safe?"

After posting bond and appearing in court briefly Nov. 16, Matthews chastised the Memphis media for focusing on him instead of the person or persons who initially took the child pornographic image.

"Three felonies. Here I am trying to help a child and you want to charge me?" says Matthews. "What about the individuals who went to my site or anybody else's site? It was on Instagram – hundreds of people had it. When you went to my site, you click on my site or anybody else's site, didn't you take possession?"

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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FOX13 News reporter Matt Gerien contributed to this report.

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