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Child Exploitation
06/21/2011

Columbus-area medical student arrested for receiving child pornography

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A 30-year-old local medical student was arrested on Tuesday for receiving child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and members of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force.

Nathan Mickelson was arrested without incident at a residence in Lewis Center, Ohio. According to court documents in the case, Mickelson admitted he had downloaded child pornography from the Internet using peer-to-peer file-sharing websites.

A forensic analysis of Mickelson's computers and media storage devices revealed about 400 suspected videos of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Receiving and possessing child pornography is punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment.

"People who possess child pornography victimize the most vulnerable members of our society," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI for Ohio and Michigan. "Those who believe that they can use technology to support their illegal activities without fear of discovery are mistaken, and they will be held accountable for their actions."

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

This case was also brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.