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Willmar, Minn., man gets prison time for child porn

WILLMAR -- Stephen Elliot Titrud, 38, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to 51 months in prison, plus a five-year conditional release period, and $2,000 in fines 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.

As part of his sentence handed down by District Judge Donald M. Spilseth in Kandiyohi County District Court, Titrud is also required to register as a predatory offender.

According to court documents, 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.

The investigation began in September 2011, when agents from the Internet Crimes Against Children division started an automatic 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.

When he was questioned by Willmar police investigators, Titrud admitted that he used file sharing to download pornography and that the images included different types of pornography.

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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