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Previous sex offender arrested for accessing child pornography

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 | 11:47 a.m. CDT; updated 12:59 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 2, 2014

COLUMBIA — Franklin W. Petering was arrested Tuesday in Harrisburg in connection with accessing pornographic websites suspected to involve minor children, according to a Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Task Force news release.

Petering, 64, was found guilty of promoting child pornography in the first degree in 2004 and sentenced to 12 years of prison. Petering moved to Harrisburg in 2013 after he was released and placed on parole in 2011.

He was arrested Tuesday for violating the conditions of his parole and suspicion of failing to register as a sex offender and disclose online activity.

As part of his parole he was required to install a software on his computer to allow a company to monitor his Internet use. The monitoring company reported that Petering accessed pornographic websites suspected to involve minor children within three days after installing the software in mid-March.

According to the news release, investigators found evidence that he accessed pornographic websites before receiving permission to access the Internet and installing the software. Investigators served a search warrant Tuesday.

Petering is also accused of having an undisclosed email address and joining a discussion group on the web; Missouri residents who are registered sexual offenders are required to disclose any email accounts and online identifiers.

Petering is being held in Boone County jail without bail, formal charges on the sex offender violation are pending.

Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.


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