Man charged with 24 felonies for possessing child pornography; Claimed the images ‘accidentally’ downloaded

Published 8:24 am Thursday, November 1, 2018

Phillip Arlan Koontz, 50, of Austin was charged on Wednesday in Mower County District Court with 24 counts of felony possession of pornographic work involving minors.

Phillip Arlan Koontz, 50

According to the court complaint, the Austin Police Department received Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) case referrals involving Koontz on Dec. 14, 2017. The reports indicated Koontz was in possession of child pornography. ICAC had requested administrative subpoenas from Google and Charter Communications and provided a detective with 11 child pornographic images, depicting two different girls, Koontz had in his possession. The detective also found Koontz had a prior conviction for second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Mower County.

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On Dec. 20, the detective executed a search warrant on Koontz’s residence in the 200 block of Fifth Street Southwest, the complaint states. A Samsung Tracfone smartphone, a Hewlett Packard laptop computer and an Apple iPad were seized as evidence. The detective interviewed Koontz, who said he only had adult pornography on his computer denied possessing child pornography.

He said he did not recognize the girls in the images provided by ICAC and said if there was any child pornography on his electronic devices, it was because he “accidentally” downloaded it.

The complaint states the detective found several sexually explicit thumbnail images of underage girls on Koontz’s laptop. He contacted the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and made arrangements to send the electronic devices, then interviewed Koontz about the images he found. Koontz denied downloading the images, saying he was “computer illiterate,” and said there was not any other child pornography on his computer.

On May 23, the BCA reported it had found 24 images of child pornography on Koontz’s electronic devices, according to the complaint.

A review of Koontz’s criminal history shows a prior conviction for storing methamphetamine paraphernalia in the presence of a child or vulnerable adult.

Koontz will appear in court again on Nov. 8.