For the second time in just over a week, the Abilene Police Department alongside ACU Police Department arrested a former student regarding child pornography distribution and possession.
Jonathan Linares, 22, was taken into custody in Nashville on Friday after detectives contacted the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to secure the arrest.
Linares was interviewed while he was in Abilene and charged with distribution of child pornography via the social media platform, Tumblr, according to a press release sent out by APD Public Information Coordinator Rick Tomlin.
According to the press release, the Cyber Crimes Unit worked with ACUPD to identify the suspect while he was still in Abilene. Linares was allegedly distributing child pornography in both Abilene and Nashville from July 2018 through December 2018, while he was a student at the university.
Because the sites attributed in the APD press release – TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Dropbox and Facebook – are not flagged sites, a perpetrator is able to download the prohibited material. ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison stressed that the illegal activity is not a result of system vulnerability.
“Sadly, these recent incidents illustrate how no community, large or small, is immune from these types of offenses,” Ellison said in a statement. “Statistics from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children show a drastic increase in the amount of child pornography and sexually exploitative materials distributed through the Internet and other platforms. The ACU Police Department has been, and will continue to work extensively with the Abilene Police Department cyber crime detectives to resolve these two cases and prevent others.”
The university also issued a statement regarding the arrest.
“While no corner of our society is immune from these challenges, we do not tolerate this type of illegal and destructive behavior. We take these crimes seriously, have acted swiftly and the ACU Police Department assisted the Abilene Police Department as it led the unrelated cases involving both former students. Each has withdrawn from the university and is no longer enrolled.”
Last week, former student Jacob Hutchison was also arrested on second degree felony distribution of child pornography and third degree felony possession of child pornography. Ellison said the cases are unrelated.
Linares is currently in Nashville awaiting extradition to Texas, according to the press release.