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Willmar, Minn., man faces felony charges for child porn

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WILLMAR — Stephen Elliot Titrud, 38, of Willmar, made his first appearance Wednesday on two felony charges of possession and dissemination of pornography for almost 4,000 images and videos of child pornography found on his computer equipment.

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According to the complaint filed in Kandiyohi County District Court, 540 of the items on the computer hardware were identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as images of 114 known child victims of exploitation.

Unconditional bail was set at $20,000. Titrud’s next appearance is April 1.

According to the complaint, the investigation began in September 2011, when agents from the Internet Crimes Against Children division started an auto program that trolls a list of suspected Internet protocol addresses for pornography, downloading the images as it finds them.

A video showing child pornography was downloaded via file sharing from an IP address that was ultimately identified as Titrud’s computer. Willmar police served a search warrant on the southeast Willmar address in November 2011 and collected two computer towers and an external hard drive from the residence.

The towers and drive were examined by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Agents located 56 photos and 43 videos on one tower, 1,374 images and 193 videos on the other tower and 1,144 images and 1,184 videos on the external drive. The data was then sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which identified the 540 images of known child victims.

Titrud alleged admitted to a Willmar police detective that he used file sharing to download pornography and that the images included different types of pornography.

He said he had been downloading for six to seven months and that there would be 100 or more photos and videos on the external drive. He also said that a friend who used his computer was innocent and that two others who lived in the house were not involved.

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Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

(320) 214-4373
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