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Deployed soldier investigated over child porn allegations

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:19 PM EDT, Fri May 4, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Soldier allegedly was demanding nude photos from high schoolers
  • He also allegedly was involved in blackmail
  • Task force identifies 10 alleged victims, ages 13 to 17

(CNN) -- A soldier serving in Afghanistan is under investigation on allegations involving the production and possession of child pornography and blackmail, the Washington State Patrol said Friday.

Detectives from the agency's Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force began investigating late last month after a high school girl's parent alleged that the soldier, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, "was demanding nude photographs during online conversations," the patrol said in a statement.

The patrol said the task force identified 10 victims -- girls ages 13 to 17 -- who are students in the area of Pierce County. The 24-year-old suspect, who has not been identified publicly, may also have had personal contact with several of the girls, the patrol statement said.

The activities allegedly began about 10 months ago, before the soldier was sent overseas, and continued during his deployment to Afghanistan.

"The suspect's computer access has been restricted and he is no longer a threat online," the patrol said.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord was formed in 2010 by the merger of Fort Lewis, an Army post, and McChord Air Force Base. At 415,000 acres, it is the largest on the U.S. West Coast, according to its website, with tens of thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families.

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