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Former Purdue University IT worker sentenced on child pornography case

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WEST LAFAYETTE (Sept. 25, 2014) – A former Purdue University employee has been found guilty for the possession of child pornography  and sentenced to the Indiana Department of Correction for two years.

Daniel P. Shaw, 48, West Lafayette, is guilty of downloading photos and videos while serving as applications administration in Purdue’s Information Technology department. Shaw worked at Purdue from 2009 until September 2013, according to university spokeswoman Liz Evans.

According to court documents, police used the file sharing service BitTorrent to find the images and traced the IP address to Shaw’s home. The videos and images showed children “nude or in states of undress in sexually suggestive poses, engaged in sexual activity or being subjected to sadomasochistic sexual abuse.”

Detectives served a search warrant at Shaw’s home in August 2013. They said he admitted to downloading the images but told them he didn’t realize that his file sharing settings were on. Police doubted that statement, given Shaw’s background in information technology and extensive knowledge of computer systems.

Investigators noted that file sharing “is an essential part of the culture of viewing child pornography” and that users turn to services like BitTorrent to share and exchange images and videos.

Shaw was arrested September 23, 2014 and charged with two felony counts of possession of child pornography and a felony count of child exploitation. Shaw entered a guilty plea of Count II, possession of Child Pornography on January 27, 2015. The court accepted Shaw’s plea agreement and plea of guilty.

Shaw was sentenced April 20, 2015 to two years for the crime of Possession of Child Pornography. Shaw will serve six months at the Indiana Department of Correction, and he will serve 18 months on home detention with GPS monitoring.