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Sheffield man faces child porn charges

A Sheffield man has been charged with child pornography.

Franklin S. Blum, 41, of Sheffield, was charged Wednesday, with five felony counts of child pornography and five felony counts of criminal use of a communications facility.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Blum had a conversation with, and received pornographic pictures and videos of, a 15-year-old girl from Wisconsin using the social networking app Kik.

Police said the conversation was 53 pages long and much of it was “very sexually descriptive.”

Pennsylvania State Police executed a search warrant Wednesday morning, with the Meadville Mobile Computer Crime Lab reviewing several electronic devices that were seized.

“No additional images were observed during the initial review,” police said. “The items will be further reviewed and extracted as necessary.”

Police interviewed Blum at his home and at the Warren barracks.

“The defendant… verified his screen name” on Kik as one police in Wisconsin said had received the photos and images sent by the girl, according to the affidavit. “The defendant stated he did not remember speaking to” the girl “specifically, stating he spoke to numerous persons on that application.”

Blum told police he received a total of “50 to 100 photographs” through Kik and that “he did not remember asking for or receiving” photos from the girl, according to the affidavit.

After he was shown a picture of the girl’s face by police, “the defendant… stated, ‘she does look young’ and indicated he must have just looked at the still photographs and videos and then deleted them. The defendant stated he did not know the age of” the girl “when he was talking to her…”

Blum was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30.

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