Porn arrest here sparks probes in 16 countries

Porn arrest here sparks probes in 16 countries: “Porn arrest here sparks probes in 16 countries’

Louise Dickson, Times Colonist, Published: Saturday, October 11, 2008

The arrest of a Victoria man for possessing child pornography has sparked investigations in 16 countries.

Matthew Cohen, 21, traded more than 186,000 child pornography images with hundreds of people around the world, Victoria police Det. Bob Elder said yesterday.

Details of the case have been kept secret until now to allow other jurisdictions to pursue suspects.”


In Victoria provincial court yesterday, Cohen was sentenced to a six-month jail term for possession of child pornography.

Cohen was arrested in March 2006 after Victoria police received evidence from U.S. authorities that he had been sending and receiving digital child pornography images on the Google Hello network with Ohio resident Michael Janosko. Image trading occurred from March 21, 2005 to March 8, 2006.

On Feb. 24, 2006, American police armed with a warrant searched Janosko’s home. Janosko cooperated with authorities, telling them he traded images with about 10 people.

One of his “friends” had the e-mail address FreshnYoung, which police traced back to Shaw Communications in Canada, then to Cohen’s computer.

The Victoria police probe sparked investigations of hundreds of people in 16 countries, including Canada and the United States, Elder said outside court.

Victoria police took over Cohen’s computer account giving authorities Cohen’s e-mail address and computer Internet address to track other targets, Elder said.

“Cohen was trading with about 300 other people,” said Elder. “Based on the information I got off this hard drive, we could see there were 186,000 pictures traded back and forth between this computer and other users worldwide.”

Elder sent a copy of Cohen’s hard drive to the National Child Exploitation Centre in Ottawa. A second copy was sent to the U.S. Homeland Security Department in Seattle.

Interpol is also involved in 14 European countries.

“They grabbed all the targets from the United States and began doing search warrants. They had all the chat logs and all the images that were traded back and forth from the images I recovered from the hard drive.”

Homeland Security arrested a Seattle man, who was living with two children under the age of six.

He killed himself in custody, said Elder.

“The second arrest was in the southern U.S. A man was arrested and charged. Police found evidence he was abusing two relatives under the age of six that were not living with him and they were rescued,” said Elder.

The investigation also picked up a coach in a teen football league in Calgary. He was charged a few months ago. The Calgary investigator told Elder the amount of child pornography they recovered was “astronomical.”

Cohen was originally charged with distribution, possession and accessing child pornography. On May 29, Cohen pleaded guilty to possession of 1,400 images of child pornography, but waited until yesterday for sentencing.

Defence lawyer Dale Marshall described Cohen as a young man who was the subject of considerable bullying and personal tragedy. Cohen sat in the courthouse with his parents. At times, his mother would pat his back to comfort him.

Victoria provincial court Judge Michael Hubbard viewed 12 of the child pornography images found on Cohen’s computer.

“They are of an obscene and indecent nature,” he grimaced. “The persons depicted here are underage and enduring an incredible amount of suffering and harm.”

Hubbard has allowed Cohen, who has no previous criminal record, to serve his jail sentence in the community.

“You are capable of being rehabilitated,” said Hubbard, noting positive consultations with a psychologist.

Cohen’s six-month jail term is to be followed by 18 months probation.

He must follow strict conditions and must submit a DNA sample to Victoria police on Tuesday.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter

Be the first to comment on "Porn arrest here sparks probes in 16 countries"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*