Lebanon man faces abuse charges after child pornography arrest

Mark Richard McKuhn, 41, was arraigned March 7 in Linn County Court on one count of encouraging sexual assault on an animal and seven counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse.

The incidents were alleged to have occurred between March 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2017, according to court documents.

Linn County Sheriff’s deputies served a child exploitation search warrant at a residence on North Second Street on March 6, according to a news release from Sheriff Bruce Riley.

The search warrant was the culmination of an extensive investigation into the online distribution of child pornography over the internet, Riley said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Dropbox, Inc. contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding 149 files of suspected child pornography discovered on Sept. 10, 2017 in an account database that was later linked to McKuhn.

Dropbox also provided NCMEC with the files and a spreadsheet with information about the files, including when they were uploaded.

A Linn County Sheriff’s Office deputy reviewed the spreadsheet. Dropbox logged 9,888 “account activities occurring between March 19, 2017 and Sept. 10, 2017,” according to the affidavit. “The vast majority of the activity consisted of files being uploaded to the account.”

The names of the uploaded files “had file names that pandered to child pornography collectors,” according to the affidavit.

That information from that investigation were “part of the basis” for two search warrants obtained on Jan. 30, 2018  – one for responsive account data from Google and one for account information from Dropbox associated with a specific email address that was linked to McKuhn.

The Dropbox account also was accessed using a phone and phone number that T-Mobile reported as being assigned to McKuhn, according to the affidavit.

The investigator found 671 files in Dropbox and classified 268 child pornography files, 200 child erotica files, 188 “age difficult” files and one bestiality file, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the deputy confirmed with McKuhn’s probation officer that the email address and phone number were McKuhn’s.

McKuhn pleaded guilty in 1999 to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of sexual penetration with a foreign object. Six counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of first-degree sodomy and one count of first-degree rape were dismissed. He was sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison. According to court documents, McKuhn was released in 2013.

A deputy applied for a search warrant on March 5 for a residence on North Second Street in Lebanon.

Deputies served the search warrant at approximately 3:30 p.m. on March 6 and located four people inside the residence. McKuhn, a registered sex offender, was one of the people at the home and was arrested.

During an interview with deputies, McKuhn admitted to searching for child pornography and collecting child pornography over the internet, Riley said in the release. In addition, he admitted to internet communication with minors with the intention of obtaining explicit photographs of children, the release states.

Additional charges may be forthcoming following digital forensic examination of devices seized during the search warrant.

Other convicted registered sex offenders reside in the home and this investigation continues.

LCSO was assisted during the search warrant by the Albany Police Department, Linn County Parole and Probation and the Lebanon Police Department.

This investigation is ongoing. LCSO asks anyone with information relevant to this investigation to contact Detective John Trenary at (541) 917-6665.