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Ridgefield man faces additional child porn accusations

A Ridgefield man who allegedly threatened a 15-year-old girl into sending sexually explicit images is facing new accusations involving a different girl.

Joshua Henry Punt, 38, was originally charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, three counts of first-degree dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, two counts of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, second-degree extortion with sexual motivation and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Punt is being held at the Clark County Jail on $200,000 bail, according to court records.

In December, the 15-year-old girl and her parents met with the FBI for an interview about a person she met a few weeks earlier on the mobile app Kik. The Kik user, later identified as Punt, posed as a 17-year-old boy and began asking for pictures of a sexual nature, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The girl sent sexually explicit images, which Punt later threatened to publish or sell if she did not send additional ones. Punt also sent the girl sexually explicit images of a male, the affidavit said.

Punt was known to host a child pornography group online, where thousands of pictures or videos were shared, according to court records.

Investigators downloaded 23 videos from the group that all contained child pornography, some including children as young as 4 or 5 years old. The FBI and police identified Punt through IP addresses, a phone number, CenturyLink and Boost Wireless accounts, and a Google email address, the affidavit said.

An analysis of Punt’s phone revealed numerous threatening text messages and voicemails, according to the affidavit. He was arrested May 21.

“Initial forensic analysis revealed hundreds of depictions of (the victim) on (Punt’s) phone,” the affidavit reads. “He denied knowing about them.”

After further investigation, Punt now faces additional allegations of sexual exploitation of a minor, first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, two counts of second-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. The new allegations stem from communications with a 16-year-old girl earlier this year.

A detective with the Vancouver Police Digital Evidence Cybercrime Unit examined a memory card on Punt’s Samsung Galaxy J7, which contained additional images of child pornography, according to a new affidavit of probable cause. The images mainly depicted high school-age girls and were stored in a directory named “fun,” the affidavit said.

Seven videos and two photos depicted the 16-year-old girl in a sexual nature. In hundreds of text messages between March 11 and March 17, Punt — posing as a 17-year-old boy — pressured the girl through guilt and threats to send nude photos, the affidavit said.

The allegations will likely be consolidated into one case, according to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

 

Source: https://www.columbian.com

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