Michael Paul Walters, 35, of Park Rapids was charged with one count of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct (penetration or contact with a person under 13) and three felony counts related to using minors in sexual performance/pornographic work, disseminating and possessing pornography.

According to the felony complaint filed with Hubbard County District Court, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCA) received a tip from Snapchat on May 8 regarding the dissemination of child pornography. Snapchat provided two images depicting children, clearly under the age of 18, in sexual acts. The photos were uploaded through Snapchat on May 2.

The BCA obtained the IPS address used by the Snapchat user to upload the child pornography, determining that Walters was the owner of the Snapchat account.

On July 14, Park Rapids Police executed a search warrant at Walter’s residence for his phone and other electronic devices. According to the complaint, Walters admitted he uploaded the two photos of child pornography in May 2020, using Snapchat. Walters also told law enforcement they would find other photos and videos of child pornography on his phone and computer, adding he has a problem and views or shares child pornography images more than once per week.

The complaint states that, since January 2020, Walters has been receiving and sharing child pornography with individuals he met online by using Snapchat. It further says Walter admitted to creating child pornography between Jan. 1 and July 14, 2020 in the Park Rapids residence.

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The felony criminal sexual conduct charge is punishable by 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine. Use of minors in pornographic work is punishable by 15 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine. The punishment for disseminating pornography is seven years prison time and/or $20,000. Possessing pornographic work may result in five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Walters is currently in custody at the Hubbard County jail, pending a court hearing.