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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - Page updated at 08:30 p.m.
1 man is charged, another pleads guilty in Redmond child-sex case
By Christine Clarridge
Seattle Times staff reporter
An investigation into a Redmond man suspected of uploading child pornography to an Internet chat group has led to his arrest and the conviction of a Pennsylvania man accused of drugging and raping little girls.
Benjamin Jay Thompson, 45, of Redmond, was charged in King County Superior Court last week with three counts of possessing child pornography and one count of dealing in depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Redmond police allegedly found more than 7,000 sexually explicit images and videos of children stored on Thompson's laptop computer, thumbdrives and other storage devices, court documents say.
Some of the children in the images found in Thompson's possession appear to be toddlers as young as 3 years old, according to the documents.
The investigation began last year when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was alerted that someone going by the user name of "pantyboy3966" had uploaded 141 images of child pornography to a particular Yahoo! Group. Police obtained a warrant and learned the account was registered to Thompson, the charges say.
A search of Thompson's house turned up a cache of thousands of sexually explicit photographs of children.
Among them were pictures of a naked and blindfolded toddler girl with an adult male, and a half-naked girl who appeared to be less than 3 years old, charging documents say.
While sifting through the photos, detectives found a photograph taken with a cellphone in a car's rearview mirror. The image showed the back of the phone, which contained a name and phone number.
Redmond police spokesman Jim Bove said the man in the image was identified as 67-year-old Barry McOwen of Upper Salford, Pa., who is suspected of creating some of the photographs found in Thompson's possession.
McOwen pleaded guilty last week to one count of child rape, three counts of indecent assault, four counts of creating child pornography and one count of disseminating child porn.
He could face up to 100 years in prison, according to the Montgomery News.
Thompson, who could face nearly 10 years in prison if convicted as charged, is scheduled for his next court hearing in King County Superior Court on July 25.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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