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Barre Man Charged With Promoting Child Pornography

CONTACT: John Treadwell, Assistant Attorney General, 802 828-5512

March 20, 2014

Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that on March 19, 2014, Ryan Messenger, of Barre, Vermont, was charged with five felony counts of Promoting Child Pornography.

According to documents filed with the court, Mr. Messenger obtained and distributed child pornography over the internet using peer-to-peer file sharing programs. Computers connect to peer-to-peer networks via publicly available software that permits them to trade pictures and movies, including those containing child pornography, with other computers all around the world.

Mr. Messenger entered a plea of not guilty to the charges at this arraignment in Washington Superior Court. The court imposed conditions of release that limit his access to the internet and children.

The charges stem from a shared investigation between the Attorney General’s Office, Vermont’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Barre City Police Department and the Vermont State Police. Vermont’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigates cases of child sexual exploitation occurring over the internet. These investigations include the production and online sharing of child pornography. This Task Force also provides forensic examination services, technical assistance, law enforcement training, and public education and outreach. The Attorney General’s Office, United States Attorney’s Office, Vermont State Police and other county and municipal law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies are affiliated with the Task Force.

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