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Nov 10, 2015 9:08 PM

UPDATE: Salem neighbors shocked over man's child pornography charges

SALEM - Brian Powell, 33 of Salem is behind bars, facing multiple child pornography charges. He’s accused of contacting young girls using a web cam and convincing them to undress and perform sexual acts.

Lt. Joel Dolan says the images were extremely difficult for Salem detectives to look at as many of them have children of their own. The victims in this case are believed to be around eight to 10 years old

“This goes beyond mere curiosity or looking at disturbing images he was making, he was victimizing these kids,” Lt. Dolan said.

Powell lives in his mother’s basement on Lou Avenue. A sign on the door Tuesday asked for privacy.

Federal investigators alerted Salem Police to Powell’s internet activity in June, his computer was seized with a search warrant in August, and he was arrested Monday evening without incident.

A neighbor with young children did not want to be identified, she’s relieved Powell is off the street, and like many in the neighborhood she says there’s no way his mother knew what he was doing in her basement.

“They’re a great family, as far as the mom, we knew the father and I know there’s an older sister, but we had no idea,” the neighbor said.

Police urge parents to monitor their children’s computer activity.

“This is our second significant child pornography case within the past six weeks,” Lt. Dolan said.

Powell is being held on $75,000 bail. More charges could follow as police investigate whether he distributed the images or made physical contact with any of his victims.

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