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March 27, 2013

Peabody man faces child porn charges

PEABODY — A Peabody man has pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography through a computer file-sharing network.

Ronald Mikol, 33, of 3231 Crane Brook Way was arrested on a warrant, after state police investigating child pornography on a peer-to-peer file-sharing service turned up evidence that Mikol was storing and sharing images on his computer, according to court papers.

Trooper James Dowling was on a file-sharing service called Ares on Dec. 15 when he discovered images being offered from one address that he later traced to Mikol’s apartment.

Dowling downloaded at least four videos from the sharing service, all of them showing young children, according to a police report.

On Saturday, troopers showed up at Mikol’s home with a search warrant, according to a police report.

Mikol initially denied that he had any illicit images on his computer. Investigators found dozens more images of child pornography in a file folder that was nested eight folders deep on the computer’s hard drive, the troopers wrote in their report.

They say Mikol eventually admitted downloading and sharing the files.

During Mikol’s arraignment yesterday in Peabody District Court, prosecutors asked for $15,000 cash bail.

Judge Matthew Nestor set bail at $10,000 but also ordered Mikol not to use any computers and to have no contact with children while his case was pending.

He’s due back in court on April 24 for a pretrial hearing.

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