Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man to stay in jail on sexual exploitation, child porn charges

He is accused of sexually abusing 13-year-old girl for two years

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man will remain in jail pending trial on charges of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl.

The man also is accused of possessing child pornography of her and others.

Cedar Rapids police investigator Tracy Johnson testified Wednesday that the child, during a St. Luke’s Child Protection Center interview, said John Hunt, 34, sexually abused her from 2015 through September 2017. He also took sexually explicit videos and photos of her, she told officials.

The girl said she also sent videos or photos to Hunt, at his request, according to Johnson. The videos and photos were taken with a cellphone Hunt had provided to the girl, she told police.

Police said they also found communications between the child and Hunt in an email.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Tremmel said Hunt, in the email, threatened to post nude photos of the girl online if she told anyone about them.

Johnson said during a search of Hunt’s mother’s home, where he lived, police found child pornography on electronic devices taken in 2017 and 2018, Johnson said. Some depictions were of other minors.

Johnson said the girl knew Hunt through a relative.

Hunt also admitted to police about the sexually explicit photos and videos he had of the child, Johnson said. His voice, a tattoo on his hand and his face were identified on one or more of the videos involving the 13-year-old.

Johnson said the girl reported the abuse now because she was concerned that Hunt would target her sister.

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U.S. District Chief Magistrate C.J. Williams said he would keep Hunt in jail pending trial because this was crime of violence against a child. Williams also said Hunt poses a risk to the community because he had this “hands-on” abuse with the minor for about two years. He also coerced and threatened the girl.

Williams said Hunt’s criminal history, including drugs and break-ins, shows he reoffended possibly more than once while on pretrial release and had violations while on probation.

Hunt is charged with sexual exploitation of a child and extortion, and three counts of possession of child pornography.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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