Radio personality arrested for child pornography

  • Saturday, December 6, 2014 10:41pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A radio personality in Anchorage was arrested on child pornography charges after the social networking website Instagram turned him in to authorities.

The radio host known as Jimmy O’Brien was arrested Thursday. His real name is James LaPlante, and his show airs on KASH 107.5.

The case began when Instagram realized a customer in Anchorage had uploaded 13 images depicting child sexual exploitation, according to charging documents.

Instagram contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which alerted the Anchorage Police Department. Police determined that the images were uploaded from LaPlante’s home address, according to the charging documents.

Internet giant Google separately found that LePlante shared illegal images online from a computer owned by his employer, Clear Channel Communications, according to the charging documents.

The Anchorage Police Department executed search warrants on LePlante’s home, the radio station’s offices and his Instagram and Google accounts, uncovering additional evidence from his iPhone. “That examination revealed an extensive chat history between LaPlante and numerous minors he solicited for images,” investigators wrote.

The children depicted in images gathered by officers were as young as 4, according to the charging documents.

Police said that LaPlante was “forthright” in admitting the alleged crimes, saving some of the images of child exploitation on his cellphone and storing others on an external hard drive attached to his work computer.

LaPlante denied producing images of child exploitation involving his own children. Police are investigating potential sexual abuse of any victims.

LaPlante faces three counts of distribution of child pornography and a count each of possession of child pornography and online enticement of a minor.

During a hearing Friday in jail court, a judge ordered LaPlante held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

For LaPlante to be released before trial, he would need a third-party custodian, which is typically a family member or friend who would take full responsibility for a defendant who’s released on bail. If released, LaPlante would not be allowed to use any devices with Internet access and would not be allowed to contact children.

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