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Davenport man arrested on federal child porn

Davenport man arrested on federal child porn

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Federal authorities say Anthony Conklin allegedly received and distributed thousands of images of child pornography over the internet from his home at 620 W. 31St.., Davenport (Brian Wellner/Quad-City Times)

A Davenport man said he is “heartbroken” after learning of charges that his son was using the Internet to look at child pornography for nearly a decade right under his nose, and he had no clue.

Boyd Conklin said Tuesday that his son, 35-year-old Anthony B. Conklin, has lived in his basement since he was 18 and mostly kept to himself.

“We didn’t talk much,” he said.

He first suspected something was wrong when police searched his house at 620 W. 31st St. a year ago and carted off two computers from the basement.

As time went by, he thought the case had been dropped until two weeks ago, when he watched his son being led away from his house in handcuffs on federal child pornography charges.

He still can’t wrap his mind around the allegations.

According to a court document, the police search April 12, 2011, resulted in seizure of two computers, 14 photographs of young girls, dozens of printed child pornography images, 18 Barbie dolls, children’s underwear and three school ID cards of underage girls.

The ID cards were for female students at Davenport Central High School, Davenport North High School and Bettendorf High School, the document states. Police located two of the students, and both denied ever meeting Anthony Conklin.

Police uncovered more as they searched the computers, finding some photos depicting girls as young as 4 years old posing nude and videos showing underage girls dancing nude, the document states.

At least 8,000 child pornographic images and 600 child pornographic videos were discovered after police searched his computers, the document states.

Authorities claimed Anthony Conklin used file-sharing software to download the pornography and saved pornography to thumb-drives in order to transfer the images and videos. Some of the pornography included bondage and bestiality, the document states.

Authorities also claim he frequently chatted with young girls ages 9 to 18 via the Internet, although he denies ever meeting any of the girls.

He allegedly told authorities that although he knows downloading child pornography is a crime, he said, “Unfortunately, it’s something I like,” documents state.

The young girl’s underwear that police said they found in his home had either been purchased by Conklin or collected from places where he’s worked, the document states.

His father said he most recently worked as a maintenance supervisor at the RiverCenter in Davenport.

Boyd Conklin is denying any knowledge of the child pornography.

“I didn’t know you could do so many stupid things with a computer,” Boyd Conklin said, adding he’s “computer illiterate.”

Walking around the house Tuesday with the assistance of a walker, Boyd Conklin said he had trouble getting down the steps to the basement and hardly ever went down there during the 17 years his son lived there.

Anthony Conklin grew up just around the corner in his mother’s house and moved in with his father after the two divorced, Boyd Conklin said.

Boyd Conklin now visits his son at the Muscatine County Jail, he said.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Shields ordered on June 18 that Anthony Conklin be detained, saying that even after police first searched the house a year ago, Conklin purchased more computer equipment and continued downloading child pornography and chatting online with minors.

Anthony Conklin’s arraignment is set for Friday in U.S. District Court, Davenport.


EARLIER STORY: A 35-year-old Davenport man has been arrested on federal child pornography charges after authorities say they found thousands of images and videos on his computer.

Anthony B. Conklin was arrested June 12, and an arraignment is set for Friday in U.S. District Court, Davenport.

He’s charged with receiving and distributing child pornography.

A court document states that while he was living with his father in Davenport, he used the Internet on his own computer to distribute images and videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Police searched the basement of the home April 12, 2011, and seized two computers, 14 photographs of young girls, dozens of printed child pornography images, 18 Barbie dolls, children’s underwear and three school ID cards of underage girls, the complaint states.

The ID cards were for students at Davenport Central High School, Davenport North High School and Bettendorf High School, the complaint states.

A search of one of the computers revealed 3,356 photos that police bookmarked as child pornography, including photos depicting girls as young as 4 years old posing nude, the complaint states.

Police also found 621 videos on the computer, many of which show girls between 4 and 15 posing or dancing nude, the complaint states.

Police searched the other computer and found another 1,201 images and 42 videos of child pornography, the complaint states.

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