Student faces child-porn charge

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A Flathead High School student is facing a felony charge of sexual abuse of children after allegedly obtaining child pornography on a public library computer.

Joshua Smith-Monson, 19, pleaded not guilty to the charge Sept. 12 in Flathead District Court.

A school staff member contacted a Kalispell police officer after a flash drive left behind in one of the school computers was found by a teacher, who discovered it contained pornographic anime images and pornographic images of young girls.

The teacher said one of the pictures depicted a girl estimated to be between 10 and 12 years old.

The teacher also alleged the last student to use that particular computer was Smith-Monson.

A subsequent investigation of the flash drive by an agent with the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation determined it contained 11 images of child pornography.

The court document alleges that when Smith-Monson was confronted by the Kalispell officer, he admitted the flash drive was his, that it contained pornographic pictures of young girls, and that he downloaded the pictures from a public library on two different occasions.

If convicted, Smith-Monson faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He was released on his own recognizance after being arrested on a book-and-release warrant.

His next hearing is set for Oct. 16.

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