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article imageBail withheld for Christian rocker held on child porn possession

By Megan Hamilton     Sep 1, 2015 in Crime
Chicopee - A Christian rock musician from Massachusetts will remain behind bars pending trial because the FBI contends thousands of downloaded images of child pornography were allegedly found on his computer.
Victor Stepus, 47, was taken into custody on Aug. 21 after FBI investigators raided his home and searched his computer along with several digital DVDs, according to MassLive. He allegedly told investigators he was specifically attracted to girls aged 12 to 15, according to a criminal complaint filed by FBI Agent Ian Smythe. However, some of the images found showed girls as young as eight years old.
Victor Stepus.
Victor Stepus.
YouTube screen grab
Agents seized a personal computer that allegedly contained over 8,000 images and 33 videos portraying child pornography, WWLP reports.
Stepus told Smythe that he only started using the computer about two weeks ago, MassLive reports here.
The complaint also reported that Stepus drank heavily and was abusive towards certain family members. He has been held since his arrest pending a hearing that was scheduled for Aug. 31.
Records state that Stepus told agents he began downloading child porn years ago while his wife worked nights.
"He accessed and downloaded pornography through several TOR websites using the username 'Zombe008,'" Smythe's complaint reports.
Stepus told officials he began using TOR sites many years ago in Russia. Purportedly these websites theoretically allow users to remain anonymous while surfing the Internet, however, they may still be vulnerable to intelligence agencies, MassLive reports.
He is charged with alleged receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors.
Stepus, a Ukrainian citizen, is a legal permanent resident alien of the U.S., the complaint states.
Stepus' wife told agents that he isn't an American citizen but is a legal permanent resident of the U.S. from Ukraine.
His wife "was continuing to live with Stepus because divorce was too expensive," the complaint reported, per MassLive.
Defense attorney Alan J. Black didn't contest the government's motion to hold his client behind bars pending trial, and court records report that Stepus consented to an audio-taped interview with agents, in which he admitted downloading child porn over the last several years while his wife worked.
Stepus and his Christian rock band have been featured on YouTube and several other sites.
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