Internet child porn suspect staying in jail for now - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Internet child porn suspect staying in jail for now

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Clarksville man accused of hosting a chat room where thousands of child pornography files were exchanged over the Internet decided to stay in jail Thursday.

Royal Raymond Weller was among 27 people arrested in the U.S. and abroad on charges from the case.

Prosecutors said he used the screen name G.O.D. to control the chat room discussions, discouraging smutty talk and words like "incest" to try to keep investigators off the trail as users swapped computers files that showed children as young as 18 months old being molested.

Weller is in federal custody and was scheduled on Thursday to appear in the court of U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger.

A magistrate had ordered his release on a $10,000 bond earlier this week, but that was appealed by the government until Thursday's hearing. Prosecutors say Weller could face five to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Carrie Daughtrey, the lead prosecutor in Weller's case, said she did not know why Weller decided to waive his detention hearing set for Thursday.

Calls to Weller's lawyer Carl Douglas Thoresen were not immediately returned.

Daughtrey said she could not comment specifically about Weller's case, but in prosecuting other similar cases, she said those arrested can be a danger to the public if released on bond.

"There's a lot of people who think these are victimless crimes, but they're not," she said. "Once a child's image is out there on the Internet, it's out there forever. It revictimizes the child again and again."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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