Blackfoot man who compared young girls to pizza convicted on child porn charges - East Idaho News

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Blackfoot man who compared young girls to pizza convicted on child porn charges

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Editor’s note: This story contains details that some readers may find disturbing. Discretion is advised.

POCATELLO — After a three-day trial, a federal jury has found a 41-year-old Blackfoot man guilty of distribution and possession of child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced Thursday that Joseph Hornof was found guilty of two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

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Chief U.S. District Judge David Nye presided over the trial that began on Monday in Pocatello. The jury concluded the guilty verdict on Wednesday. Following the jury’s verdict, Hornof is subject to a sentencing enhancement for committing a prior sex offense against a child in 2009 in Bannock County, according to a news release.

In testimony and evidence presented at trial, Hornof used the Kik messenger app to talk with an undercover officer in North Carolina. Hornof shared videos and images of child pornography with the officer.

In a previous story EastIdahoNews.com reported, the North Carolina detective’s case file said Hornof mentioned he’d had sexual contact with young girls. Hornof would refer to the girls as pizza and would refer to their age by how aged the cheese was.

When talking with the undercover agent, Hornof would allegedly send what he called “cheese pizza,” which were sexually explicit videos of children.

RELATED | Registered sex offender facing federal child pornography charge

Hornof then directed the officer to join a social media group called “pedophilia.”

In that group, Hornof distributed 24 videos of child pornography.

Law enforcement served a search warrant at Hornof’s residence in Blackfoot. After seizing his laptop and cellphone, officers found more images of child pornography on the devices, according to a news release.

Hornof is scheduled for sentencing on May 1 in front of Judge Nye at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.

The charge of distribution of child pornography, with a prior conviction, carries a minimum of 15 years and up to 40 years in federal prison per count, a fine of up to $250,000, and at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release.

The charge of possession of child pornography, with a prior conviction, carries a minimum of 10 years and up to 20 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Hornof will be required to register as a sex offender due to the conviction, the release said.

The Idaho Falls Police Department, Idaho ICAC Task Force, Boone North Carolina Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations were involved in the investigation.

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