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BENNINGTON — A Pownal man was arraigned in Bennington on Thursday afternoon on five counts of possessing highly graphic photographs of adults sexually abusing children.

Corey Martin, 24, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine, including possible registration on the Vermont sexual offender registry for each of the five counts of possession of child sexual abuse materials. He pleaded not guilty on all counts.

According to police affidavits, an investigator from the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children, after receiving a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children used mathematic algorithms and PhotoDNA technology to track individual photographs to Martin’s computer IP address.

Investigators followed the electronic trail to Martin, uncovering numerous chats between Martin and other users of a social networking site and dating application website called Skout.com. Police received the tip after Skout.com alerted NCMEC of several explicit conversations that included uploaded images of child sexual abuse.

On Nov. 4, investigators obtained a search warrant for records related to Martin’s Google account email, which was used to set up the Skout.com account, leading to Martin’s devices and phones, including the exact physical address on Chickadee Drive. Police issued a search warrant early Thursday morning at the residence.

Martin spoke with police and confirmed that he had a Skout.com account, and also confirmed that he had a conversation that included some images. Investigators searched the residence and found three devices, all cellphones, which were seized. Based on the evidence gathered at the residence and through the course of the investigation, Martin was arrested and transported to the Bennington Police Department for processing.

According to documents from the prosecution, collectors of child pornography go to great lengths to maintain their collections, because the images supply sexual gratification and are used for trading new images. At the same time, collectors go to great lengths to secure their collections from the threat of prosecution. “The Cloud,” servers and databases all over, allow users to access millions of images over the internet. This provides the collector of child pornography a solution to both issues, an ideal repository for child pornography. An account with almost any electronic service provider can contain a multitude of abuse files. The images can be accessed from any computer or mobile device over the internet from anywhere in the world. Those files can be stored and available for years if the user doesn’t delete them.

Martin was released on several conditions, including no contact with minors under 16, except for his children in a supervised setting. Martin is not allowed to stay overnight in the same residence with his children, can be arrested without a warrant if not compliant and is banned from loitering where children are present. He is also forbidden from using the internet or accessing any websites on any device.


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