Homeless Fresno man caught using library's WiFi for child porn

July 24, 2013 3:02:14 PM PDT
Fresno County Sheriff's investigators arrested a man on Tuesday accused of using the free Wi-Fi at a public library to download child pornography.

Victor Smith, 59, of Fresno was taken into custody at the Central Library in downtown Fresno after a two-week investigation by the sheriff's department.

Many families with young children go to the library where the learning possibilities are endless and placed right at your fingertips. But deputies say one man was using the internet to prey on kids.

On Tuesday, Fresno County Sheriff's investigators arrested Victor Smith at the library where he was caught with child porn.

Authorities say for the last few months, Smith would use his personal laptop to access the free Wi-Fi and download illegal images.

When arrested, he was seated at a table right across from the children's section. "He was seated in such a way that people could not see what was on his computer. He could look up and look directly at the children in the children's center," said Chris Curtice with the sheriff's office.

Detectives later served a search warrant at a homeless encampment where Smith lived. They say more evidence was seized there.

Staff at the library said they have filters in place but the suspect was able to go around the security system through a file sharing program. "Unfortunately, people who are out to thwart the system will always find a way to get around it. The problem with internet filtering is it's not 100 percent secure," said Laurel Prysiazny, the county librarian.

The library is now training its staff to be more vigilant to prevent similar crimes.

But these cases are becoming more common. Just two months ago, authorities arrested a registered sex offender at a Selma McDonald's. Detectives say Jeremy Hudler was downloading and sharing child porn.

The latest case in Fresno is forcing the library to review its current filtering system. "We're going to meet with our vendor that provides our Wi-Fi and our technical people and see what we can do to try to lock it down a little bit more so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again," said Prysiazny.

Smith was booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of possessing child porn.


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