Grand jury indicts UNL student on child pornography charges
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A grand jury has indicted a 19-year-old University of Nebraska Lincoln student on two counts of receiving child pornography and two counts of possessing child pornography.
According to prosecutors during a hearing in United States District Court on Tuesday, the investigation started following allegations that Hunter Towle was taking photographs of students in dorm showers. Those allegations have not been substantiated. However, an associated search warrant issued in September revealed more than 1,300 videos and dozens of photos of child pornography on his devices. According to court documents, some of the videos and images were of children under the age of 12. Investigators also found videos of Towle sexually abusing a family pet.
The prosecution said Towle engaged in casual conversations about sharing child pornography on Instagram, and even requested explicit photos from a 14-year-old girl.
The judge ordered he should be detained until trial because of the risk of harm to the public. According to court documents, Towle collected a substantial amount of images and videos depicting child porn within the four months after his prior collection was seized by law enforcement.
Towle faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the four counts he’s facing.
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