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Farmington Man Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

Police say Joshua Vernon Reger had hundreds of images and videos of child pornography on his laptop computer when authorities seized it.

A Farmington man is facing felony charges after police say they found images of child pornography on his computer.

Joshua Vernon Reger, 26, is charged with five counts of possession of pornographic work involving minors, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Each charge has a mandatory minimum penalty of a $1,500 fine.

A Minneapolis police officer who is a member of the International Agency for Crimes Against Children established a connection with a computer in Farmington on Nov. 24, 2010, according to the criminal complaint.

The officer determined that the computer belonged to Reger, and obtained a file list from a shared folder on his computer. That list contained 17 names, seven of which matched known child pornography hash values, according to the complaint.

The officer prompted Reger’s computer to download six files to his computer, and all those files contained child pornography, the complaint charges.

On Nov. 26, 2010, the officer again established a connection with Reger’s computer and got a file list from the shared folder. Of the 158 files on the list, 60 of them matched child pornography hash marks; the officer downloaded two files from Reger’s computer, both containing child pornography, according to the complaint.

The officer subsequently downloaded 12 child pornography files on Nov. 28, 2010, and 10 more files on Feb. 23, 2011, the complaint says.

Police executed a search warrant at Reger’s home on Aug. 23, 2011. A subsequent search of a laptop computer seized from Reger’s bedroom found 206 images of child pornography and 64 videos containing child pornography, according to the complaint.

The images and videos were sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and 56 of the images and five of the videos were found to contain victims.

Detectives interviewed Reger on Aug. 23, 2011. He initially admitted downloading what he called “child abuse stuff” by accident, but later confessed that he had downloaded and kept as many as 100 child pornography images and 10 videos on his laptop for the last three or four years, according to the complaint.

Reger told police that he kept the files and looked at them because they were “so fascinating,” the complaint says. Officers asked him what he would do if he had the opportunity to touch a child sexually, and Reger replied: “I’ve thought about what I would do. … I don’t know. … I know how wrong it is, but it’s … so fascinating,” according to the complaint.

Reger is scheduled to make a first appearance on the charges Dec. 3 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.

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