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Iowa child porn maker’s conviction upheld


This news story was published on December 30, 2014.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – An Iowa man who filmed four young boys and created child porn and was later convicted of his crimes has lost his appeal in a U.S. Court of Appeals courtroom.

Benton Stong, age 76, of Oran, Iowa, received a sentence of 110 years in prison after a 2013 jury found him guilty of one count of sexual exploitation of children and four counts of possession of child pornography.

On December 10, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Stong’s conviction and sentence.

According to court documents, during the summer of 2012, four boys – ages ten, eleven, eleven, and twelve – visited and occasionally stayed with Stong at an apartment where he lived by himself. After meeting with a parent of each of the boys, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Stong’s apartment. The officers seized two computers and a camera with a memory card from Stong’s living room, on which a forensic officer found pornographic images and videos of the four boys. One of the videos showed two of the boys engaging in a sex act; another showed two of the boys performing another sex act. The officer also found pornographic images of unidentified children on the computers. Both of the computers listed “Ben” as the registered owner, and one of the operating systems contained the name “Ben Stong.” During Stong’s trial, a parent of each of the four boys identified his or her child in redacted versions of some of the child pornography found on the computers and camera. In addition, one of the parents, who had known Stong for approximately ten years, identified Stong’s voice from the pornographic videos. The parent, who had visited and cleaned Stong’s apartment, also identified it as the place where two of the pornographic images had been taken. During trial, one of the officers who searched Stong’s apartment also identified it as the location where many of the pornographic images and videos were made.

The case was originally prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Benton Stong Photo from KWWL.com

Benton Stong

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