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Columbia man arrested for child, toddler porn

Monday, February 23, 2009 | 7:16 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — An 18-year-old Columbia man was arrested on suspicion of possession and promotion of child pornography Friday evening, said Detective Andy Anderson, the coordinator at Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force.

Eric Hall, of 1912 Forum Blvd., was arrested on suspicion of two counts of possession and one count of promotion of child pornography. Hall had been under investigation since April 2008, Anderson said.

“We knew there was a resident in Columbia,” said Anderson, "but we were unable to specifically identify him until later.”

On Nov. 6, 2008, officials seized three computers from Hall’s residence. After investigation, police found 86 videos and 166 photographs of child molestation and exploitation that they believe were acquired through Internet file-sharing programs. Some depicted were as young as toddlers.

Anderson said that the growing trade of child pornography is “of great concern” to Missouri’s Internet Task Force. In the past 10 years, as social networking and file-sharing programs have become more common among the younger demographic, the number of offenders has increased, Anderson said.

In the past year, over 25,000 computers in Missouri were found to contain child pornography, Anderson said.

“It seems to us like we are getting more younger people,” Anderson said. “Maybe they are not as shocked at it as older folks. It’s getting out of hand.”

As of 12:05 p.m., Hall was being held in the Boone County Jail on a $40,000 cash-only bond.


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