Multiple investigations occur after child porn photo goes viral - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Multiple investigations occur after child porn photo goes viral

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Thaddeus Matthews Thaddeus Matthews
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Memphis police are in the middle of a child pornography investigation and now the feds are now getting involved.

One law enforcement source describes it as a complete mess - multiple investigations are going on simultaneously, but no one's been arrested.

"It's really strict," said Criminal Defense Attorney Mike Scholl.

Defense attorney Mike Scholl has handled child porn cases before.

He said most end up in federal court and are universally difficult to defend.

"Just the mere having it in your possession, whether there is an intent to distribute or whatever the intent is, is completely illegal," he said.

A photograph depicting a toddler performing a sex act on an adult went viral online.

"I've seen some pretty sick things," said Memphis Police Department Director Toney Armstrong.

MPD and the District Attorney General are investigating to determine if the crime happened here, and neither the FBI nor U.S. Attorney will confirm an investigation.

But sources said the federal internet crimes against children task force is also investigating the creation and distribution of the photo.

Controversial disc jockey Thaddeus Matthews shared the photo on Facebook.

"It was just a matter of let's find out who the perpetrator is," Thaddeus Matthews said not too long after he made the Facebook post.

Scholl said there is not a first amendment protection in this situation.

Some support his decision and others don't, but legal experts say it could spell legal trouble if federal prosecutors decide to pounce.

"It is a crime to forward it on or pass it on. It's a crime to possess it," said Scholl.

"For possessing something like that you're looking at easily 10-15 years sentences day for day if not higher," he continued.

This is not only a Mid-South case.

The photo in question has been seen throughout the United States.

If you get it, alert authorities and do not pass it on.

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