Man facing 15 counts of child porn possession

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

An Albert Lea man was charged in Freeborn County District Court on Tuesday with 15 counts of child pornography tied to 17 alleged victims.

Gavin Thompson

Gavin Wayne Thompson, 22, appeared in front of Freeborn County District Court Judge Ross Leuning, who set unconditional bail at $100,000 and conditional bail at $25,000. Conditions included no contact with people under 18, making all future court appearances, no social media or internet use and signing a waiver of extradition, among others.

Court documents state authorities were alerted to Thompson after receiving a cyber-tip from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Internet Crimes Against Children on June 16, 2022, regarding child pornography sent via Snapchat.

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A Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office detective obtained phone records for the IP address and phone number and identified the user of the phone reportedly used in the crime.

Authorities also obtained a search warrant for Thompson’s home, and at that time, Thompson reportedly admitted to knowing he was purchasing pornography, and specifically child pornography and stated that his Snapchat account had been shut down in December because of sending nude photographs. He reportedly stated he only viewed and downloaded the child pornography on his phone, and his phone was seized and sent to the BCA for examination.

The examination of the phone returned in late July of this year recovered 561 videos of male and female child pornography as well as 139 still photographs.

Victims reportedly ranged from less than 1 to 10. Court documents stated between the videos and photographs obtained there were approximately 1,000 separate juvenile victims.

He is next slated to appear in court on Aug. 17.