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Police: 83-year-old had 100,000 child porn images

The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team arrested Dennis Clark Thorson, 83, of Central Point on child pornography charges.
Thorson previously convicted on child porn charges

An 83-year-old Central Point man is in the Jackson County Jail with no bail after police said they discovered more than 100,000 images and videos of child pornography in his possession.

The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team, an interagency task force, arrested Dennis Clark Thorson Thursday. He has been federally charged with two felony counts of possession and receipt of child pornography, SOCET said.

“Thorson was using sophisticated computer software that allowed him to search other people’s computers who were sharing their child pornography collection and download it directly from them,” SOCET said in a press release.

In 2014, Thorson was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse and five counts of second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse for possessing and viewing child pornography. He was required to register as a sex offender, according to Jackson County Circuit Court records.

Central Point Police Department launched the new investigation into Thorson after receiving a tip he had been viewing child pornography on his computer, SOCET said.

SOCET, Homeland Security Investigations and Jackson County sheriff’s deputies executed a federal arrest warrant Thursday at Thorson’s home in the 90 block of Bigham Drive in Central Point. They seized digital devices, and a federal search warrant was obtained to examine the contents. The Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force conducted the forensic examination of the devices, SOCET said.

SOCET started in June 2020 to combat child exploitation and human trafficking. The task force consists of investigators from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Grants Pass Police Department, FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, as well as prosecutors from local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.