Venice man arrested for 40 counts of child pornography

VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 56-year-old man from Venice on Wednesday for possessing child pornography.

Detectives investigating Internet Crimes Against Children found a particular IP address was being used to download 76 files previously identified as child pornography.

Detectives confirmed the IP address was leased to a resident living on Orange Road. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the home of Mark Childress.

Childress agreed to answer detectives’ questions and confessed he was the person responsible for downloading the images of child pornography.

Childress disclosed the location of his laptops and other devices inside his van parked in the driveway and gave detectives his passwords.

Detectives found the images on Childress’ hard drive.

Childress told detectives he has been collecting child pornography for years, so they may be additional hundreds or thousands of files on his devices.

Childress also told detectives he frequently travels to Thailand. He didn’t tell detectives what the trips were for, but Thailand is known country for child prostitution.

Childress is charged with 40 counts of possession: sexual performance by a child. He was taken to the Sarasota County Jail.

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