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Bay Area man accused of looking at child porn at busy, public strip mall

11:40 PM, Oct 18, 2012   |    comments
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Benjamin Ashauer

 

Temple Terrace, FL - A Bay Area man has been arrested, accused of looking at child pornography at a busy strip mall. Detectives with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said they took Benjamin Ashauer into custody Thursday morning.

According to investigators, a shopper saw 29-year-old Ashauer looking at disturbing images on his laptop computer while sitting on a walkway of the Terrace Collections strip mall at 4941 East Busch Blvd. 

That person called authorities, who showed up and found Ashauer viewing the images. Detectives got permission to examine his computer and investigators said they found dozens of graphic pictures of children, ranging in age from infants to 12-years-old.

The owner of Ruben's Cuban Café, Ken Johnson, said Ashauer came into his restaurant Monday, sat down, and asked for the password to the free WI-FI connection. After he was given it, he never ordered any food, and later left.

"For the next three or four days, he was sitting out on the curb with his computer. He just looked strange," said Johnson.

The strip mall stays fairly busy, with customers shopping and eating.

"I'm glad they got him. I'm glad somebody looked on and found out what he was looking at and picked him up. That's just sick," said Johnson.

Detectives believe Ashauer used the WI-FI to avoid being detected. He is being charged with 50 counts of Possession of Child Pornography. He could face additional charges as the investigation into his computer continues.

 

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