Teen bonds out after being charged with child porn - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teen bonds out after being charged with child porn

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email 

Lee County, GA (WALB) -  A Lee County teenager is out of jail on bond Wednesday after being arrested on child pornography charges Sunday.

Investigators say a computer technician doing maintenance on 19-year-old Erik Sandal's computer found some disturbing images. We told you about his arrest Tuesday.

 It's a lesson in being careful about what you download and save to your computer and a warning from computer technicians. Those we talked to Wednesday say if you've got illegal information on your computer they will call law enforcement. 

Computer technicians at Albany Computers on Ledo Road could tell you stories about what they see while fixing computers.

"Some people have unique surfing habits and when they get problems with their computers they bring them to us," said Christi Goodwin, Albany Computers Owner.

They're sensitive to customer's privacy.

"We try to respect our customers privacy to the absolute fullest. The only time we have to look at their information is if we just have to verify its integrity to make sure it's intact," said Goodwin.

That's what happened in Lee County. Erik Sandal's computer didn't come to Albany computers, but when a technician was verifying the information they found 70 inappropriate images of girls younger than 13 in their underwear and a number of nude photos.

"He knows what he has done in wrong, but then again he thought what he was doing wasn't wrong," said Sheriff Reggie Rachals, Lee County.

Colonel Anthony Parker and Sergeant Tommy Goodwin are now trained as Internet Crimes Against Children officers to deal with these crimes.

"Once he got to that certain step he knew we had to seize the computer and then seek out warrants and get the computer searched that way," said Rachals.

The computer's now in the GBI's hands. Sheriff Reggie Rachals wants technicians to alert law enforcement on this type of crime.

"I've never actually seen child pornography in our store but if I did, child porn watchers beware if you bring it here and I see it, I will turn you in," said Goodwin.

Law enforcement says they'll be ready

The Lee County Sheriff's Office actually won an award in December for best new Internet Crimes Against Children team. They've got two GBI computers now in the office to help them investigate these types of crimes.

Right now Erik Sandal faces one count of Child pornography child enticing. The GBI is still searching the computer to see if it contains any other illegal information.

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