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Hastings man faces eight counts of possession of pornography involving minors

Justin Michael Pakonen of Hastings was charged Monday, Dec. 17, with eight felony counts of possession of pornographic work involving minors. The charges were filed in Dakota County District Court.

The 27-year-old defendant told Hastings police he was depressed and that viewing the images on the computer helped him.

According to the criminal complaint, a Minneapolis Police officer working as part of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) observed some peer-to-peer sharing of child pornography, which was coming from an IP address in Hastings. After determining who the address belonged to, the agent contacted Hastings police. The address was registered to Pakonen.

In February 2011, police executed a search warrant at Pakonen's residence. Items seized were a computer and a cell phone. Pakonen admitted to having pornography on the computers and that he is addicted to it.

According the complaint, Pakonen told the officers he is depressed due to financial issues and that he had stopped taking his medication. He said used pornography "as comfort" for his depression.

Forensic examinations confirmed images of child pornography were on his computers and cell phone. The videos were submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It was determined that eight belong to a known series of identified victims.

No court date has been scheduled for Pakonen.