Crime & Courts

Australian authorities tip off Wichita police in child exploitation case

A 39-year-old Wichita man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child after online activity caught the attention of authorities in Australia.

Wichita police were alerted last week by Australia authorities monitoring an international child pornography sharing website, Lt. James Espinoza said. A Wichita man was uploading images of three Wichita children to the site.

While those pictures would not be considered child pornography, Espinoza said, they were uploaded in an attempt to get others to share images of child pornography. Investigators were able to gain the assistance of an acquaintance of the suspect, who elicited the help of family members to obtain the suspect’s phone.

Police found 27,000 images and videos of child pornography on the suspect’s phone, Espinoza said. He was arrested Friday night at the Exploited and Missing Child Unit office following questioning.

While he was arrested by local authorities, Espinoza said, the case will likely be charged in federal court.

“The Wichita children (in the three photos uploaded) have not been the victim of any hands-on crimes,” Espinoza said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.