Sikeston man sentenced to prison on child pornography charge

Friday, May 29, 2009 ~ Updated 11:44 PM

A Sikeston, Mo., man was sentenced to prison on a federal child exploitation charge in federal court at Cape Girardeau.

Thomas O. Stroud Jr., 27, was sentenced Thursday to 90 months in federal prison on one felony count of possession of child pornography. Upon release from prison, Stroud will be placed on supervised release for 40 years.

Previously, Stroud admitted that in March 2008 he asked his brother to return a laptop computer that he had rented. When a computer technician for the rental company was cleaning the memory of the laptop computer to prepare it for future rental, the technician saw files he believed contained child pornography and called the police. The technician provided Stroud's contact information to police.

When officers first contacted Stroud by phone, he pretended to be someone else. Ultimately, Stroud contacted police, met with an officer and made a voluntary statement. He admitted that he had downloaded child pornography onto the computer.

Stroud estimated that he'd downloaded child pornography on 10 occasions. He was able to specifically describe several of the video files that were contained within the memory of the laptop's hard drive.

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