Child Porn Stash One of Largest in Iowa History - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Child Porn Stash One of Largest in Iowa History

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by Phil Prazan

pprazan@myabc5.com

@PhilPrazan

Police call it one of the largest libraries of child pornography that they've seen in Iowa.
 
Police charged 48-year-old Paul Hildreth of Ankeny with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and dissemination of obscene material of a minor.
 
A partnership between Pleasant Hill police and the state's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force sets up computers that monitor websites that show child pornography.

A Pleasant Hill police officer followed an IP address, got a warrant and searched Hildreth's home.

"When the officers explained to him exactly why they were there he assisted law enforcement to show them where the library was," says Officer Adam Choat.

Police confiscated personal computer equipment for examination and an investigation showed that those images contained minors engaging in sexual acts.

"This guy had a lot of child pornography in terra-bites in his safe.  He could be charged up to 10 years for each image and we have well over a million images of child pornography," says Officer Choat.

Hildreth volunteered at the small Hopkins Grove Untied Methodist Church in between Madrid and Boone.

"I believe he is a member and ran the sound board at the church," says Rev. Bill Poland from the Iowa Conference of United Methodist Church.

They have a "safe sanctuary" program that does background checks on everyone who works with children.

They will cooperate with law enforcement.
 
"I believe he has a restraining order, so he cannot be in close proximity to children and I know that the church would abide by that," says Poland.

Hildreth didn't have an extensive criminal record.

"He kept a nice, neat and tidy houses," says Officer Choat, "He didn't really fit that criteria."
 
Police did find a video camera and children's toys in the house but no direct evidence showing that Hildreth produced pornography.

Pleasant Hill police urge you to contact them if you know of any victims or information.

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