Hillsboro man suspected of having child pornography on cellphone

Investigators said there were 237 pornographic photos of children found on a Hillsboro, N.D., man’s cellphone.

Joshua Ray Messer, 34, is facing 10 felony charges for the sexually explicit images. Each count holds a maximum sentence of up to five years behind bars.

An affidavit for Messer’s arrest said investigators executed a search warrant on Messer’s phone Oct. 2 and found the photos. Seven of the 237 images showed children identified victims known to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the court document. There were 131 unique images, the affidavit said.

Several of the images found on Messer’s phone showed adult men sexually abusing girls suspected to be less than 3 years old, the court document said.

Charges were filed in Traill County on Friday, Oct. 4, and Messer is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, Oct. 9.

Tess covers crime and courts for the Grand Forks Herald. She previously worked for the Associated Press, Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha World-Herald and The Voice News. Reach her at (701) 780-1267, or on Twitter @ByTessWilliams.
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