The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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April 19, 2014

Man admits having child porn

MERCER — A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

Charles R. Spaulding Jr., 20, of 145 N. Shenango St., could be sentenced up to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison for the third-degree felony.

Spaulding also will undergo an evaluation by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine whether he is a sexually violent predator. If he is so deemed, his sex offender reporting and counseling requirements will be more stringent.

Prosecutors withdrew charges of corruption of a minor and criminal use of a communication facility as part of the plea.

Mercer police said they were approached by a 17-year-old girl who said she had friended a supposed 17-year-old girl on Facebook, and exchanged telephone numbers with her.

The victim said she cut off contact after the “girl” asked for a nude photo of herself and sent one to her, police said. The victim said she noticed the phone number was Spaulding’s, police said.

Police interviewed Spaulding and he admitted requesting and sending the photos, knowing the girl was under 18, police said.

A search of Spaulding’s cell phone turned up more nude photographs of girls 15 to 18, police said. Most of the photos were downloaded from the Internet, but police said they were able to identify one girl, who is 15.

In an interview with the girl, she said she had sent nude photos to someone she knew as “Robert,” who also sent her nude photos of himself, police said.

The girl’s mother identified one of the photos of “Robert” that had been sent to her daughter, which police said is identical to a photo they found on Spaulding’s phone.

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