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Man charged with 104 counts of child porn

John Kenneth Horton

John Kenneth Horton

COVINGTON -- Covington Police have charged a Newton County man with 104 counts of sexual exploitation of children in connection with a catalog of images found on his personal computer.

John Kenneth Horton, 33, of Covington was arrested and charged with the 104 counts of sexual exploitation of children Thursday. He was held on a $11,200 property bond and has already bonded out.

"These 104 images have been identified as child pornography by the GBI and also through ICAC (the U.S. Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force)," said CPD Lt. Paul Daily. "The children have been identified as being under age. There were several that were really disturbing."

Horton's arrest stems from an investigation that began March 14, when the CPD was notified by an area computer repair shop that they were in possession of a computer that appeared to have pornographic images on it.

"He came in and told them his computer wouldn't boot up, but it had some very personal documents on it. He referred to them as financial documents and said he didn't want anyone looking at the documents," Daily said, adding that the repair shop explained that it was their policy to always back up everything on a computer in case something was lost.

"He agreed to leave the computer with them and it was during the backup that they spotted some disturbing images," Dailey said.

CPD detectives took possession of the computer through a search warrant and then transported it to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for forensic analysis.

Daily said the 104 images are what was found by a quick analysis and it appears they are only the tip of the iceberg.

"What I'm hearing is that there's thousands of pictures on there." he said. "We expect to get a full report within 30 days."

Daily said each image amounts to one count of child exploitation and ultimately it is expected there will be thousands of counts against Horton presented to the grand jury for indictment.

Daily said Horton is a truck driver and is married and the father of a young son.

"We are somewhat satisfied that these are shared images. Nothing leads us to believe that these are home images," Daily said. "When we get a full report from the GBI it will detail that, whether the images came from a personal camera or ... cellphone. He's been cooperative and he's told us none of these images were taken by him, and we don't have anything to discount that at this point."

Daily said the logical question might be why he didn't just get himself a new computer rather than taking a chance on the pornographic images being discovered.

"All of that is like a trophy case for these guys," he said. "Those pictures were all categorized and in folders. They are treasured by these people."