Austin man charged with possessing child pornography

Published 5:00 pm Friday, May 24, 2024

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An Austin man has been charged with several counts of possession of child sexual abuse material.

Matthew Michael Jenson, 39, made a first appearance in Mower County District Court on Thursday morning where he faces eight counts of felony possessing pornographic work involving a minor under the age of 14.

The charges are the result of an investigation that began on March 5 when an Austin Police Department detective received a report from the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) indicating that Yahoo! Inc. had informed the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a user had allegedly uploaded seven files of suspected child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

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According to the court complaint, subpoenas were issued by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to Yahoo, T-Mobile and Charter. Information gathered from Yahoo and T-Mobile provided a connection to Jenson.

The detective reviewed the seven files and confirmed that six of the files contained child pornographic material, however, several were duplicates of the same video discovered by the detective.

A search warrant was served on March 14. According to the complaint, when another detective approached the door and announced law enforcement. Jenson met law enforcement at the door, but initially denied his identity.

After being advised of the search warrant, Jenson began turning away back inside the house. The detective opened the door further and noted that Jenson was holding a handgun that was being concealed behind the door.

Jenson then dropped the gun and released the magazine and the detective secured him.

In the serving of the search warrant, law enforcement seized several items including a laptop, SD cards, two iPhones, a computer tower, three more phones and an iPad.

The detective investigating the case told Jenson that he was being investigated for CSAM and without being questioned Jenson allegedly said he looked at adult pornography saying, “A lot of weird stuff out there.”

The detective asked Jenson about emails and phone numbers linked to Jenson, however, when asked if he looked at pornography viewed as questionable, Jenson said he didn’t want to talk about that and then requested a lawyer when asked if CSAM would be found on his phone.

After being arrested and shown a copy of the search warrant at the jail, Jenson unlocked the two iPhones. They were sent to the BCA for forensic examination.

On April 4, the detective reviewed the returned results, which allegedly included about 511 files of CSAM on the phone. On the second phone, information related to a WhatsApp chat group named “Stellar CP lovers” was discovered. The group, last active in September of 2023, had 209 participants/members including Jenson. Within the chats there were 573 attachments including files, videos and images. Most of them, the court complaint  says, were CSAM along with 1,757 messages.

Jensen’s next court appearance is an omnibus hearing scheduled for July 5.