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Former soldier gets 12 years for child porn

OMAHA, Neb. — A former soldier from Columbus, Neb., who had hundreds of middle-school age girls as friends on a social media site has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography.

District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp sentenced Nathan Young, 22, this week in U.S. District Court in Omaha. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

After his release from prison, the former city man will be under a 25-year term of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg said Young was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2012 on two counts of use of an electronic device in the manufacture of child porn.

Young was charged locally in state court with 10 counts of enticement, manufacturing and possession of child porn. Those state charges were dismissed while prosecutors pursued the federal case.

Young was accused of committing the offenses over an 18-month period from April 2010 until his Sept. 21, 2011, arrest in Columbus.

The defendant was convicted of possession of child porn in 2010 and served four months in a military stockade while stationed at the U.S. Army's Fort Huachuca in Arizona.

The defendant was subject to a 25-year registration on the state's sex offenders registry at the time of his arrest.

A criminal complaint in the case mentioned only two victims, ages 14 and 15 in 2011, in the soliciting, and porn manufacturing and possession charges. The complaint didn't identify the gender of the victims.

The investigation got under way in mid-September 2011  when Columbus Police received a report from a parent involving suspicions about Young's activities with the juveniles.

Police investigators interviewed a number of middle school girls about the suspicions of Young and later obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s residence.

Investigators said a search of Young’s computer and other electronic media revealed a series of texts and photos exchanged between Young and a middle school girl. At Young’s request, the minor sent a series of photos from her cell phone culminating in sexually explicit depictions.

Young received the images between August and September 20, 2011. Young was then interviewed by a police investigator and subsequently arrested on Sept. 21.

Authorities said when Young was arrested, he had more than 470 Facebook friends, the vast majority of whom were middle-school age. The defendant followed a familiar pattern of gaining the children’s trust through online gaming and then getting more friendly through Facebook chats, the prosecution said.

The prosecution reported having evidence of more than 5,000 pages of his Facebook chats.

Distributed by MCT Information Services
 

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