Mercer County man arrested on child pornography charges

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According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website, a Mercer County man was arrested and charged Saturday following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section into the distribution of child pornography.

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane identified the defendant as Travis Cook, 21, 1719 Springfield Church Road, Jackson Center, Mercer County. Kane said that when agents searched Cook’s residence, they learned he was living with a 16-year-old girl. Investigators said Cook met the girl when she was 13, and that she gave birth to their child three months ago.

Agents conducting an online investigation found numerous online files that contained depictions of children under the age of 18 engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses. Several of the images depicted children as young as 6, male and female, engaged in sexual activity.

According to the criminal complaint, images of the minor engaged in sexual activity with Cook were saved to various electronic devices. Cook’s electronic devices will be analyzed by the Attorney General’s Computer Forensics Unit as part of a continuing investigation.

Cook is charged with 28 counts of possession of child pornography, one count of statutory sexual assault, one count of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of indecent assault and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Cook was taken into custody on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 and preliminarily arraigned before District Judge Lorinda Hinch, who ordered that he be held in the Mercer County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 7.

Kane thanked the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police – Mercer for their assistance with the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted in Mercer County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

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