Oak Harbor man charged with possessing child porn

Special agents with Homeland Security investigated a child pornography case in Oak Harbor earlier this year.

Prosecutors charged the suspect, Lewis C. Cox, 49, in Island County Superior Court May 2 with four counts of possession of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first degree.

Homeland Security was first alerted to the case in 2016 when Yahoo Inc. reported that suspected child porn was uploaded to the Flickr website by a user.

The IP address was traced to an Oak Harbor apartment where Cox lived, according to an agent’s report.

Two agents arrived at Cox’s home in March. Cox denied that he viewed child porn but gave the agents consent to search his Mac desktop computer and a USB drive. The agents found numerous images and videos of child pornography, the report says.

Cox then admitted that he frequently communicated in child-porn related internet chat rooms where people would send him large “batches” of child porn; he would then share them elsewhere on the Internet, the report states.

Cox also explained that he would occasionally pretend to be a female child in chat rooms “to see how far men would take sexualized conversations.”

If convicted of the charges against him, Cox could face up to eight and a half years in prison.

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