The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

August 3, 2013

Man facing child porn, other charges

JACKSON TOWNSHIP — A Jackson Township man has been arrested for having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl and possessing child pornographic images on his computer.

Travis J. Cook, 21, of 1719 Springfield Church Road, was charged Friday by agents of the Office of Attorney General with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault, criminal use of a computer and possession of 28 child porn images.

He was arraigned by District Judge Lorinda L. Hinch, Mercer, and taken to Mercer County Jail after failing to post $100,000 bond. Hinch set his preliminary hearing for 10 a.m. Wednesday before District Judge D. Neil McEwen, Pine Township.

Agents said Google reported March 15 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a Gmail user had uploaded images of suspected child pornography on March 3.

A detective with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, who is assigned to the High Tech Crime Task Force, viewed the images and determined that they appeared to show children with their genitals exposed and/or engaging in sex acts, police said.

The detective obtained court orders for information that resulted in her identifying the Internet provider address registered to someone at Cook’s home address, police said.

On May 1, the detective turned over information to the Attorney General’s office.

Further records checks identified Cook as owner of the Gmail address, police said.

On Thursday, agents and state police searched Cook’s home and seized three cell phones, two tablet computers and an iPod, police said.

Cook’s 16-year-old girlfriend – he lives with the girl and her grandparents – told police she met Cook when she was 13 and they started having sex when she was 15, police said.

She became pregnant with Cook’s child and gave birth in April, police said.

Cook confirmed the girl’s story, police said.

Cook also admitted searching the Internet for pornography and having viewed child porn, using search terms such as “teen sex” and “school girls,” police said.

Police said they showed Cook the 28 images that had been uploaded to his e-mail account and he admitted viewing 14 of them.

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