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Judge sets bond at $15,000 for UND officer charged with possessing child porn

A Grand Forks judge set bond at $15,000 Thursday for a UND police officer accused of having tens of thousands of images of child pornography on his computers.

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Paul Bradley Meagher

A Grand Forks judge set bond at $15,000 Thursday for a UND police officer accused of having tens of thousands of images of child pornography on his computers.

Paul Bradley Meagher, 42, went before a judge for the first time on 10 counts of possessing child porn, all Class C felonies, Thursday in Grand Forks District Court.

Meagher, who was hired by the UND Police Department in 2004, was arrested Tuesday evening after law enforcement carried out a search warrant at his apartment at 1549 Eigth Ave. S. and found images of adults sexually abusing children as young as 4 years old on his laptop, according to court papers.

Meagher has been placed on administrative leave at UND, and the university was in the process of firing him Wednesday after finding he had violated departmental policy, university policy and police code of ethics, according to the UND Police Department.

Law enforcement walked into Meagher's apartment Tuesday to find about 60 zip files of suspected child porn being downloaded onto his laptop, said Grand Forks County Assistant State's Attorney Brittney Blake at Meagher's hearing this morning.

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More than 100,000 videos and pictures of child porn have been found on his computers, said Blake.

Blake argued Meagher should be held on a $150,000 bond based on the seriousness of the charges, while Alex Reichert, his attorney, told the judge a lesser amount would suffice.

Reichert argued Meagher was not at risk of running away because he has lived in Grand Forks almost his entire life, his family lives in North Dakota or surrounding states and he does not have a passport.

Reichert also pointed to Meagher's decision to hire him as a sign he likely will not run.

Grand Forks Judge Debbie Kleven agreed with Reichert, setting bond at $15,000 cash or surety, and ordered Meagher not to access the Internet or be around children unsupervised.

Meagher does not have a prior criminal record in North Dakota or Minnesota.

His preliminary hearing was set for 9 a.m. Dec. 7.

Related Topics: CRIME
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