Falls man charged on child porn

WARREN – A 36-year-old Newton Falls man remains in Trumbull County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond after pleading not guilty Thursday to a 22-count indictment charging him with child pornography-related crimes.

Bernard Stuntebeck was named Wednesday in a special grand jury report that accuses him of 21 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and a single count of pandering obscenity involving a minor. All the charges are second-degree felonies that carry penalties of up to eight years behind bars.

The indictment follows a January raid on Stuntebeck’s home at 329 E. Broad St., where Newton Falls police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation seized potential evidence in the form of several boxes and computers from the house.

Stuntebeck appeared in Newton Falls Municipal Court shortly after the raid and was held on nine counts of similar charges that were fourth-degree felonies.

Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Gabe Wildman said Stuntebeck is charged with downloading various graphic child porn scenes between May 11 and Dec. 5. Downloading, Wildman said, amounts to duplicating or re-producing the porn and a more serious second-degree felony. Simply viewing the images is considered a four-degree felony.

Wildman said that the FBI in Youngstown was able to pinpoint Stuntebeck’s online Internet activity through an IP address. He said the January search warrant for Stuntebeck’s home came from a federal judge.

Wildman explained that both the BCI and FBI have specific agents locally who are assigned to investigations dealing with child pornography and work with local police agencies.

BCI recently positioned a full-time supervising agency in Youngstown to continue searching the Internet. The Ohio Bureau of Investigation Crimes Against Children was put together in 2012 to track down illegal online activities.

Wildman said they “troll” the Internet for files they know contain child pornography and get the computer’s IP address where it is found. Through a subpoena from the cable company, they are able to get the physical address of the computer and then, through a search warrant, remove evidence from the suspect’s house.

The case has been assigned to Judge Ronald Rice.

cbobby@tribtoday.com