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Willmar man gets fines, probation for child porn conviction

WILLMAR -- A 20-year-old Willmar man was sentenced to 36 months in prison, which was stayed, $1,500 in fines and five years of probation on three felony charges for possessing pornographic material.

As part of his sentence in Kandiyohi County District Court, Brent Lee Peterson was also ordered to serve 100 days in the county jail, comply with all recommendations of his psychosexual evaluation -- including the prohibition of internet access and pornographic mat-erial -- no contact with females un-der 18 and register as a predatory offender.

A total of 33 additional felony charges for possessing and disseminating child pornography were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Peterson was charged with 36 felonies after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children confirmed that 18 files from his computer contained photos of known child pornography victims.

An investigation began last August after the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force referred the case to local law enforcement.

As part of an undercover operation, pornography files offered for distribution were discovered on another computer located in Buffalo and were traced to an Internet protocol address in Willmar.

The files included photos of prepubescent females displaying their genitals and naked boys and girls performing sexual acts.

Last September, police searched Peterson's home and seized a computer and other equipment.

Forensic examination of the hard drive identified all the confirmed child pornography files downloaded by the ICAC officer. In addition, 108 additional files, images or movies that depicted child porn were located.

The computer also contained multiple files of the same person, who was known to be underage.

Willmar Police sent 84 images and 15 movies files of pre-teen and young teen girls to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to authenticate as child pornography.

The center confirmed that 18 files contained child pornography of known child victims.

During the plea hearing on Sept. 16, Peterson's attorney put on the record that his client is autistic, has Asperger's syndrome, takes multiple medications and was recently hospitalized, according to first assistant Kandiyohi County Attorney Connie Crowell, who prosecuted the case.

She also noted that two counts, under different provisions of the law, were filed regarding each of the victims.

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