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Waterloo man indicted in international child porn investigation

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U.S. District Courthouse in Cedar Rapids.

WATERLOO – A Waterloo man has been indicted in connection with an international child porn investigation.

A federal grand jury charged Mychal Paul Olson, 31, with one count each of receipt and possession of child pornography. Olson pleaded not guilty during an appearance in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids on Nov. 18. He was detained pending a further hearing.

Mychal Paul Olson

Mychal Paul Olson

The indictment alleges Olson possessed porn including an image involving a child under age 12 on an iPhone Xr between May 2019 and December 2020.

Court records indicate detectives with a South Australian Police child exploitation task force uncovered Olson’s email address when investigating a Whyalla, Australia, man whose email account they took over in November 2019.

Australian police continued communicating using the Whyalla man’s account and received responses and links to child porn from hundreds of others.

Some of the files used an encrypted cloud storage website based in New Zealand and a Russia-based photo-sharing website, according to court records. Files reviewed by investigators included images of abuse involving children as young as 2 years old, according to court records.

Australian police forwarded their findings to the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations office in Canberra, Australia, which passed on information to the Cedar Rapids office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Agents searched Olson’s Sheerer Avenue home in December 2020 and seized cell phones and laptop computers, according to court records.

The Whyalla man was sentenced on child porn charges in 2020.

He allegedly uploaded non-porn photos of a young girl to a website where other users added pictures of their own genitals to the photos. The man then downloaded the edited images onto his phone, according to media accounts.

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