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Man accused of viewing child porn on Central Michigan University library computer

Witnesses say man was looking at pictures and videos of nude boys

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MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – A man in his 50s was arrested this month after several witnesses accused him of viewing child pornography on a Central Michigan University computer.

Jeffrey S. Harris, who was born in 1963, was arrested Oct. 4 for allegedly using a computer on the fourth floor of the Park Library to view pictures and videos of nude boys.

3 people say they witnessed Harris viewing child porn

An IT worker at the library called CMU police after a student reported seeing a man viewing child pornography on a school computer. The student said he was working on homework when he noticed Harris using a second computer screen to block the screen he was viewing.

The student said Harris looked out of place. He looked at the computer screen Harris was viewing and said there were pictures and videos of nude children about 10-12 years old performing sexual acts. He said there were also inappropriate pictures and videos of boys.

The IT worker said she went to the fourth floor and sat next to the student, directly behind Harris. She said she saw Harris browse YouTube before switching into a new browser tab and looking at still images of young boys ages 10-15 engaged in sexual poses.

She said she saw Harris clicking through videos showing "young boys engaging in sexual acts."

A CMU police officer spoke with a third witness, who said he was sitting directly behind Harris. The witness said he saw Harris looking at both pictures and videos. He said Harris would scroll through the pictures quickly before closing the page to another tab to view videos.

The witness said Harris viewed multiple videos that showed children he believed to be between 8 and 11 years old performing sexual acts.

Harris interviewed by detective

A detective with the CMU Police Department interviewed Harris, who said he thought all the videos he was watching were legal, but he wasn't sure.

Harris admitted that he had been to prison for child pornography charges in the past, the detective said.

At the end of the interview, the detective asked Harris what type of pornography would be found on the computer if a forensic search was done. Harris said he didn't know and asked for a lawyer, the detective said.

Police gather evidence

Police received a search warrant for Harris' vehicle in a CMU parking lot and found two laptops, two mobile phones and a notebook with a list of accounts and passwords.

Officials found multiple library books from different universities in the vehicle. Police said there were at least 12 different library identification cards in Harris' wallet.

A lieutenant with forensic training examined the CMU computer Harris was using. He discovered that over 150 videos had been viewed on the library computer and about 1,000 images of child pornography showing young boys.

The lieutenant also found a contact on one of the mobile phones with which Harris discussed child pornography involving young boys.

Child porn charges

Harris is accused of possessing child pornography and accessing it with intent to view, police said.

Harris was convicted of possessing child sexually abusive material in April 2004 at the Gratiot County Circuit Court, police said. Officials said he could receive a greater penalty as a possible repeat offender.