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Police seek IDs of dozens of child porn victims found on laptop

NORFOLK

Authorities say they are searching for the identities of more than a dozen young girls whose pornographic images were found on the computers, cell phones and cameras of a local man.

Ian Hartney, 20, was arrested by federal agents on charges of producing child pornography. His case came about when a Chesapeake computer store reported to authorities that Hartney's laptops contained child porn.

Hartney, a shipyard worker from Newport News, remains in jail pending a scheduled bond hearing Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court. He was arrested Friday on charges of producing, receiving and possessing child pornography.

Chesapeake police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement began an investigation of Hartney in November when the president of an unidentified Chesapeake computer tech support company reported to police that an employee saw child porn on one of Hartney's two laptop computers, according to a court affidavit.

The porn almost went undiscovered. In order to repair the laptop, the employee had to copy the contents of the computer's entire hard drive and later reinstall it. The employee did not initially see the images, according to the affidavit filed by ICE agent Kristin Joseph.

When Hartney got his computers back, he discovered that some of his picture files were missing. He called the employee to ask if she could find them. When she searched the files that she had saved, she discovered the child pornography and immediately called police, the affidavit says.

On Dec. 6, Chesapeake police, ICE and FBI agents, the Virginia State Police and Newport News police raided Hartney's apartment. They discovered six computers, including the two recently repaired laptops, plus four cameras and several cell phones.

The computers, cell phones and cameras contained numerous child pornography photos and videos, the affidavit says. Some of the pictures appeared to be homemade, with 25 different young girls in the images.

The authorities discovered the identity of one local girl who admitted to a sexual relationship with Hartney beginning several years ago, when she was 15, the affidavit says.

The girl was able to identify six of the other 24 minors whose images appeared on Hartney's computers, cameras and cell phones.

"The investigative team is still in the process of identifying and interviewing additional potential juvenile victims who were depicted in sexually explicit images found on Hartney's computers, cameras and cellular phones," Joseph said in her affidavit.

John P. Torres, special agent in charge of the ICE Washington region office, said anyone with information about the victims should call the agency at (866) 347-2423.

"One of our main priorities is to identify and assist any additional potential victims," Torres said in a statement.

ICE, he added, "will continue to aggressively use its investigative authorities, in conjunction with Virginia law enforcement agencies, to hold those who commit sexual crimes against children accountable for their actions."

Tim McGlone, (757) 446-2343, tim.mcglone@pilotonline.com

Posted to: Chesapeake Crime News


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