Man arrested on child porn chargesMaterial found on computer
By: Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — For the second time in just a few months, the Worthington Police Department has arrested a man for possession of child pornography.
Nathan James Ellingson, 33, of Worthington, formerly of Chandler, was charged Thursday with one count of possession of pictorial representations of minors, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, a man contacted authorities Feb. 18, claiming to have information about child pornography. He said he had located the pornography while repairing a computer for a friend of the family.
The computer, he explained, was owned by Ellingson. The man had discovered the pornography after Ellingson spilled clam chowder on the computer. His girlfriend gave the computer to the man to fix. The man noticed that Ellingson had his own user file on the computer that was password-protected. While he was trying to install a program, he had to remove passwords from user files. He later noticed files that “looked like they shouldn’t be there.” The titles, he said, referred to ages of children. He opened one file and discovered a video of a young child having intercourse with an adult.
After giving the information to authorities, the man turned over the laptop computer in question and attempted to show the officer the files in question. The officer took the computer, shut it off and placed it into evidence.
Several days later, Ellingson went to Prairie Justice Center (PJC) and asked to speak to an officer about the computer. After being read his rights, he agreed to talk. He allegedly said he had come into PJC to do the right thing. He admitted to accessing the Internet and downloading child pornography since he had moved to Worthington.
Ellingson said he moved in with his girlfriend after a fire destroyed his home in Chandler. After he moved to Worthington, he used a peer-sharing site to download the images and video. He saved them under different names, he said, so his girlfriend wouldn’t find them. He allegedly admitted he knew it was wrong to keep them and to continue to go back to look at them.
The last time he had looked at it, he said, was right before he spilled clam chowder on the computer and it froze up. He denied sending the pornography to anyone.
After talking with Ellingson, the officer examined the seized laptop and found child pornography videos. He shut the computer down, and it will be turned over to a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force for the purpose of mirroring the hard drive to look for other child pornography.
At Ellingson’s residence in Worthington, a second computer was seized with Ellingson’s consent and will be examined.
Bond was set Thursday at $1,000, with conditions of release that include no contact with minors and no alcohol/controlled substance use. Ellingson was still being held in the Nobles County Jail as of Friday afternoon. His next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 10.