Sandpoint man arrested on child porn charges

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Kluesner

SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint man was arrested Tuesday for possession of child pornography.

Curtis Gilbert Kluesner is charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, a felony that’s punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Kluesner, 49, was arrested following an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, according to Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

Kluesner fell under scrutiny after he shared 1-minute, 52-second video depicting child pornography with a task force detective working out of the Moscow Police Department, according to court documents. The video was shared using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network in January.

The video was traced to a Kluesner’s laptop computer using its Internet Protocol address, the numerical label assigned to the internet-connected device, court records indicate.

Detectives with the Sandpoint Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service and Idaho State Police assisted the ICAC Unit with the investigation.

“We are grateful for our parttnerships with the federal and state law enforcement agencies that have allowed us to be part of this investigation,” Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon said. “We know all too well that child predators have no boundaries. They pose a serious threat to all children — including those that live and go to school in every community throughout the state of Idaho.”

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces representing over 4,500 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. These agencies are continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and exploitation using the internet.

Kluesner made an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Wednesday via video link with the county jail. Judge Tera Harden set Klusener’s bail at $50,000 and appointed a public defender to represent him, court records indicate.

If Kluesner posts bail, he is forbidden from having any internet access or accruing any new criminal charges.

A preliminary hearing the case is set for Feb. 19.

Kluesner’s prior criminal history in Idaho consists of a 2009 conviction for driving under the influence in Bonner County.

Anyone with information regarding the exploitation of children is encouraged to contact the Sandpoint Police Department, the Idaho Attorney General’s ICAC Unit at 208-947-8700 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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