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Reporter for TV-3 arrested on charges of child pornography

By J.R. Williams -- jrwilliams@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A reporter for ABC affiliate TV-3 Winchester has been arrested on child pornography charges, city police said Monday.

Ryan O'Connor, 23, was arrested about 10 a.m. Monday at his secondary place of employment, Winchester police Sgt. Amanda Baker said. She declined to identify the business.

O'Connor has been under investigation by authorities for several months, Baker said, after they received reports that he had sent lewd pictures of himself to a 14-year-old girl in Illinois by e-mail.

Police searched O'Connor's Pemberton Village apartment Monday, where they seized four printed pictures and a computer, Baker said. The pictures were not of the girl from Illinois, she said.

"The investigation has been ongoing for a while, based on obtaining information from the victim's computer," Baker said.

Police traced the e-mails to O'Connor based on an Internet protocol address, a unique identifying number of computers on the Internet.

O'Connor filed breaking news and general assignment reports for TV-3. The station reported his charges on the air Monday and on its Web site, saying he was no longer a station employee.

Baker said although the investigation is ongoing, authorities have no information to suspect area children were targeted.

O'Connor was cooperative with authorities Monday during questioning and his arrest, Baker said. He is charged with four counts of child pornography possession, one count of indecent liberties with a child and one count of using a computer in commission of the crimes.

He could face more charges after his computer is analyzed, Baker said. Police have no additional suspects, she said.

O'Connor is held at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center without bond. He has a hearing scheduled for today in Winchester General District Court.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office assisted Winchester police detective Karen Dew in the investigation, Baker said, as part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.




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