Austin woman pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

Published 3:28 pm Saturday, July 17, 2010

An Austin woman accused of possessing child pornography pleaded guilty Friday in Mower County court.

Daralyn Marie Herrald, 24, awaits sentencing on Oct. 22 for the felony-level offense.

Another man, 54-year-old Owen Thurston Stevenson, Jr., was also charged in connection with the case back in February. He initially pleaded not guilty to 25 felony counts in April, but he has a hearing set for July 26, at which time he could enter a revised plea.

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According to a criminal complaint, their 705 W. Oakland Ave. apartment was searched in January 2009 after a Minneapolis police investigation into child porn shared on the Internet identified a computer in the residence as a possible source.

Local law enforcement and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension seized several computer towers during the search.

They also spoke with Herrald, who was at the apartment at the time. She said both she and Stevenson used the computer in question. However, Herrald initially indicated that she only downloaded adult porn, while Stevenson sometimes downloaded child porn.

She said he showed her videos that he had downloaded from the Internet. Herrald also gave authorities detailed directions to find the illicit files on the computer.

Officers later spoke with Stevenson over the phone. He admitted to downloading the child porn but said he wasn’t sure if Herrald had downloaded any on her own.

In July of 2009, a forensic analysis of the seized computer came back and revealed that there were a total of 1,079 images and 29 movie files relating to child porn on the hard drive.

The evidence was sent to the Child Victim Identification Program, which is run through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The CVIP indicated in September of the same year that 220 images and five videos were of known child victims.