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Man accused of possessing child pornography

by Sheila Gardner
sgardner@recordcourier.com

A 21-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man faces two counts of possession of child pornography after investigators allegedly found images of children ages 5-12 engaged in sexual activity on his computer.

Kyle Hewit, jailed on $10,000 bail, appeared Wednesday before East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl charged with two counts of possession of visual presentation depicting sexual conduct of persons under 16.

According to the complaint, Hewit had multiple videos and images of children engaged in sex acts that he allegedly acquired via the Internet.

A warrant was issued following an investigation by the FBI Images Task Force and the Nevada Attorney General’s office.

EnEarl appointed attorney Kris Brown to represent Hewit.

With the concurrence of the district attorney’s office, EnEarl released Hewit on his own recognizance Wednesday following an evaluation by jail psychologist Dr. Joseph McEllistrem that he was not a risk to himself or the community.

Hewit is under the supervision of the Department of Alternative Sentencing. He may not have access to a computer or use drugs or alcohol. He also has an ankle monitoring bracelet.

The suspect said he lived with his parents and worked as an assistant manager at a fast-food restaurant.

He said he earned $28,900 a year, but paid $200 a month rent and made payments on his car and credit cards.

Hewit said he was a college student.

EnEarl ordered him to reimburse the county $500 for Brown’s services and set his next court appearance for Aug. 11.

Prosecutor Karen Dustman, who filed the charges against Hewit, said the case was referred to the district attorney’s office by the attorney general’s Reno High Tech Crime Unit, part of the task force for Internet crimes against children.

She said Hewit was not facing federal charges.

If convicted of the felonies, he faces up to six years in prison on each offense.

According to the criminal complaint, items were detected on Hewit’s computer between May 27-Nov. 16, 2009.

His residence was searched Feb. 4 and evidence was seized including a computer, laptop and cell phone.

According to court documents, material was turned over to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an effort to identify victims.

Douglas sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Halsey said Hewit was brought to the Minden jail on Tuesday by an assistant attorney general and booked without incident.

Halsey said Hewit has no prior contact with the sheriff’s office.