Columbia man charged with possessing, sharing child pornography

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | 2:02 p.m. CDT; updated 8:31 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 22, 2009

COLUMBIA — A 23-year-old Columbia man was charged Monday with the possession and promotion of child pornography, some of which he is accused of accessing using an unsuspecting neighbor’s wireless Internet connection.

Investigators say they discovered 37 videos on the computer of Jason Douglas Allen, of 1709 Kittyhawk Drive, Apartment 6. Some of the videos depicted the sexual molestation of children believed to be as young as 4, according to a probable cause statement filed with the 13th Circuit Court for Boone County.

The charges are the result of an investigation initiated in early August by the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force, a unit composed of a number of local law enforcement agencies that investigate crimes committed over the Internet.

On Aug. 4, Detective Tracy Perkins located a computer using a network address in Columbia that was offering child pornography, according to court documents. About a month later Perkins identified a computer using a different network address — an address registered to Allen — that was also offering child pornography.

“During the investigation we were able to determine that both cases came from the same person,” Perkins said.

In the first case, Allen used a neighbor’s unsecured wireless network to connect to the Internet, but he used his own connection the second time, Perkins said. Allen used the file-sharing program Gnutella to download and share the child pornography, according to court documents.

The neighbor does not face any charges in the case, but the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force encourages anyone using a wireless Internet router to secure their connection to prevent unauthorized use.

In an interview with investigators following the seizure of Allen’s computer and external hard drive on Sept. 14, Allen admitted to downloading child pornography and told investigators where it could be found, according to court documents.

Allen was being held on $40,000 bond in Boone County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

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