Crime

Finley man claimed he was investigating child porn for police. Now he faces years in prison

Federal program targets online child predators

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was developed federally in 1998 as the number of children and teenagers using the internet increased and child sexual abuse images became available electronically, authorities say.
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The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was developed federally in 1998 as the number of children and teenagers using the internet increased and child sexual abuse images became available electronically, authorities say.

When a Finley man’s son found child pornography on his father’s cellphone, the man claimed he was helping police catch the criminals who trade the illegal images.

But on Wednesday, Charles C. Farber admitted he not only made videos using two underage girls, but that he copied the child pornography so at least two others could watch them.

He pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court to two counts each of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and second-degree dealing in depictions of a minor.

Farber, who turns 48 this week, faces 8 1/2 years in state prison when sentenced May 1.

Charles FarberCropped.jpg
Charles C. Farber pleaded guilty Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to four felony charges involving child pornography. The Finley man faces 8 1/2 years in prison when sentenced later this spring. Kristin M. Kraemer Tri-City Herald

Police receive 2 CyberTips

Farber first came to the attention of Kennewick police on Dec. 7 after a detective was assigned two reports that had been made to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline.

One CyberTip involved five images and videos that had been uploaded to Google Photos and were flagged by the technology company as child pornography, according to court documents.

The detective got a search warrant for all photo logs, messaging logs and subscriber information linked to the Google account that was used to upload the images.

The case was reassigned to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 21 since Farber lives in Finley.

Cell blur
Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

A sheriff’s detective then used a program to look through all the images on the account and found 1,600 pictures and video files showing children in various sex acts, and 726 pictures or videos of child exploitation material, court documents said.

The detective also found numerous “selfies” of Farber, documents said.

Finley home searched

Farber was arrested Jan. 8 when investigators showed up at his home with a search warrant.

A forensic search of his electronic devices, including a cellphone and laptop, revealed pictures and videos of child pornography.

One video featured an underage child engaged in a sex act with an adult and another video showed a child with a dog, Deputy Prosecutor Laurel Holland said in court Wednesday.

Farber told a detective that about two years prior he started downloading and collecting images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit acts, court documents said.

He explained how his son saw the images last year and he gave the excuse that he was working with law enforcement, documents said.

It was in a later interview with investigators that Farber reportedly admitted to videotaping two girls and distributing some of those images. The videotaping started about two to three months before his arrest, Holland said.

Farber remains locked up on $150,000 bail.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.


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