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Mishawaka man charged with child exploitation, possession of child pornography

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- A Mishawaka man is accused of possessing child pornography and creating two videos of underage boys using video chat services, according to the probable cause affidavit.

In March 2017, an investigator with the St. Joseph County Police Department identified an image of child pornography that was shared on an online peer to peer network from an IP address located in St. Joseph County.

After obtaining the name of the user associated with the IP address, a judge granted the investigator's request for a search warrant for the user's home and vehicle.

The search warrant was served on July 11 at Matthew Ridenour's home in Mishawaka.

Investigators seized an Apple iPhone, two external hard drives and a laptop from his home, according to the probable cause affidavit.

During the search, Ridenour waived his rights and spoke with investigators. He allegedly admitted to using the internet to seek out and download child pornography.

After the items were seized, investigators searched each electronic device.

On the Apple iPhone, investigators found 3 images of child pornography and 23 images of child erotica, reports said.

On an external hard drove, investigators found 31 incomplete downloads of suspected child pornography, 123 images of bestiality, 112 images of child erotica and 15 video files of child pornography, according to the probable cause affidavit.

A second external hard drive included 329 user created videos, 162 images of child erotica and 9 images of child pornography, according to the probable cause affidavit.

On a laptop, investigators found 23 images of child pornography, 69 photos of child erotica, 119 files with names suggesting child pornography, 38 incomplete downloads with names suggesting child pornography and 99 files that were shared online that have names suggesting child pornography, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Investigators said two of the videos located on his devices were created by Ridenour during online video chats with two different boys, one in January 2017 and one in February 2017.

Ridenour was charged on July 24 with two counts of child exploitation and six counts of possession of child pornography.

He is being held on $50,000 bond.

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