North Carolina Teen Facing Over 60 Child Porn Charges

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A North Carolina teen is facing over 60 charges for being in possession of illicit images and videos of underage children. John Noah Mast, of Taylorsville, North Carolina, is facing charges including felony third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Mast, 19, was detected by police due to his online activity. The numerous charges are quite serious and, if found guilty, Mast could spend years behind bars in a state prison.

Investigation and Discovery

Mast was detected by North Carolina authorities when a tip was given to the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. That taskforce has seen a marked uptick in tips during the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts believe this is because more children and adults alike are stuck at home behind computer screens. This has increased both opportunity and demand for illicit online material involving children.

In Mast’s case, an anonymous tip warned the ICAC taskforce that someone in Taylorsville, North Carolina was uploading child pornography. This led to the issuing of numerous search warrants for Mast’s home and electronic devices. As a result of the initial investigation, it was determined that Mast had over 35 instances of child pornography in his possession.

Charges Brought Against Teen

Now, Mast is facing 65 distinct charges relating to the child porn he was found in possession of. He was immediately taken into custody, and bond was set at $500,000. Mast’s bond was later increased to $1,250,000 when his charges were updated. He is now awaiting trial, and has an appearance scheduled for November 9 in Alexander County District Court.

Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman told reporters that Mast was being held on such a large bond due to the volume of crimes he’s been charged with. He went on to thank the ICAC task force, as well as the Department of Homeland Security and the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in the case.

Uptick in Crimes Against Children Tips

The notable uptick in tips about internet crimes against children has struck many experts as troubling. The cause has likely been the coronavirus pandemic, which has adults and children alike cooped up indoors. This has highlighted the need for internet safety among children, and parents are encouraged to talk to their children about safe online conduct.

Likewise, remember to supervise your children’s playtime on the internet. You never know who could be attempting to take advantage of unsuspecting young people online.