Child Porn Charges Added To Threat Charge Against Salina Man

WICHITA, KAN. – A Salina man who was charged with posting a threat against the president on social media is now facing child pornography charges, too, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Aaron McDowell, 24, Salina, was charged in a criminal complaint today with one count of presenting and distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. In the earlier case, McDowell faces one count of making a threat against the president. A criminal complaint filed Jan. 21, 2020, alleges McDowell posted on his Facebook page, “I’m going to kill Trump in the white house tomorrow at 7 p.m.”

In the new case, an agent’s affidavit alleges that while investigating the threat case investigators found child pornography on McDowell’s cellular phone containing children performing sex acts. A total of 152 files of child pornography were found on the phone.

Further searches found 2,800 child pornography images in McDowell’s account on Mega, a cloud storage and file hosting service. Investigators also found chats in which child pornography was distributed. McDowell is alleged to have sent a link to another user on a messaging application called Chatous that connected to child pornography in online storage.

If convicted, the defendant could face not less than five years and not more than 20 years on the presenting and distributing count and up to 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the possession charged. The U.S. Secret Service, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.