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Published: Thursday, 12/16/2010

Berea pastor charged with trading child pornography on Internet

CLEVELAND — A pastor was indicted Thursday on 112 counts, including charges that he traded child pornography over the Internet from his house and church for two years.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted the Rev. Mark Griggs, of the Cleveland suburb of Berea, on charges that include downloading and possessing child pornography. Among the images Griggs downloaded and saved were ones that depicted children being raped, investigators said.

The pastor traded the child pornography over the Internet from his house and church between July 2008 and last month, prosecutors said.

Griggs, 48, did not immediately return messages left at his home.

Griggs is pastor of Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church in the Cleveland suburban of Olmsted Falls. A church spokeswoman also did not immediately return messages.

The pastor was one of 30 Cuyahoga County residents indicted after a six-month investigation targeting alleged child pornography traders across Ohio, prosecutor's spokesman Ryan Miday said.

“Investigators identified IP addresses being used to trade and download child pornography pictures and videos and traced the suspects through those addresses,” Miday said.

At least 30 other cases resulting from the investigation have been referred to authorities in other Ohio cities, including Toledo, Hamilton, Reynoldsburg and Akron, and in Indiana, Miday said.

The investigation was conducted by the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force headed by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason.

Miday said Griggs is not in custody and no date had been set for his arraignment

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