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St. Petersburg College computer student accused of building child porn Web site

ST. PETERSBURG — A computer engineering student at St. Petersburg College is accused not only of distributing child pornography, but also of creating his own Web site where the illegal images could be viewed and downloaded.

Gary Lee Peel, 19, was arrested on two charges of promoting child pornography and 20 counts of possession of child pornography.

He was being questioned by St. Petersburg police Tuesday afternoon and will be booked into the Pinellas County jail.

The case started with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, authorities said, which learned that someone had uploaded a video depicting child pornography onto a file-sharing Web site.

The Florida Attorney General's Tampa CyberCrime Task Force traced the uploaded video to a computer used by Peel, authorities said.

That's when investigators say they learned that Peel wasn't just distributing child pornography. He had built his own Web site so that others could view and download the illegal images and videos, they said.

Using a search warrant, investigators said they seized hundreds of images depicting child pornography from Peel's home. They also said they seized two computers and other electronics.

Many of the images depicted children as young as infants, authorities said. The Web site was also quickly taken down, authorities said, the first such Web site to be shut down by the Tampa CyberCrime Task Force.

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St. Petersburg College computer student accused of building child porn Web site 08/25/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 7:52pm]
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