Laurel man accused of having 200+ child porn images appears in c - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Laurel man accused of having 200+ child porn images appears in court

Mark Twain May Mark Twain May
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A Laurel man accused of having more than 200 images and videos of child pornography on his computer appeared in Federal Court Wednesday.

Mark Twain May, 55, appeared before Magistrate Judge Michael Parker for a preliminary and detention hearing in Hattiesburg at the William M. Colmer Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse.

According to a criminal complaint report filed in federal court, numerous images and videos depicting minor children under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct were found on a computer belonging to Mark May. According to the report, several of the minor children depicted in the pornographic images are as young as 5 years old.

May was deemed a danger to the community by Judge Parker, and will be kept in custody until the investigation and forensic examination of the computer data is complete.

During the hearing, Special Agent of Homeland Security Investigations, Shannon Hope, testified about the aspects of the investigation involving Mark May.

Hope's testimony included that in October 2014, agents got information from cyber-task force investigators regarding May, and the fact that he was using the profile name “DragonMaster” while viewing and commenting on photos of pubescent, and prepubescent children.

The profile name was linked to a Gmail address belonging to May, which was also linked to a facebook page belonging to May.

Comments were brought into question about comments that were made by May on an image of a young girl. Some of the language used to describe the comments were listed as; “yummy, sweet looking, etc.”

Through the investigation, a search warrant was served at May's home, where 2 laptops, 1 desktop computer, 2 thumb drives, several CDs, floppy disk, IPod, and several miscellaneous documents were seized.

When May was questioned during the search warrant, Hope stated "May said he may have viewed images he shouldn't have."

According to testimony delivered by Hope, “forensics recovered files of prepubescent or pubescent males and females engaging in sexual acts on his computer.” Hope also added that from what she has learned, none of the images were recovered from the recycle bin, or trash can of the computer, but all from file folders named (Mark/Pictures) and (Mark/Downloads).

However the full investigation has yet to be completed by the forensic unit regarding all the CDs, computers and thumb drives taken from May's house.

Multiple images were brought up during testimony, pertaining to children all under the age of 18, including an image labeled 932, which was an image of May, which was comingled with the pornographic images recovered from May's laptop.

A “chat” log was also brought into question regarding May's alleged contact and conversation with a 14 year-old male.

In the chat log, the profile name was listed as MarkMay, and details of May asking the age of the child, and when the reply he got was 14, May stated, “ok, just checking, but I love your age.”

The chat read in court detailed May explaining how he “would love to really be able to touch you” as well as described performing oral sex on the child. The chat went on and led to a child in question turning on a webcam to let May see who he was actually speaking to.

During cross examination, May's attorney, Mike Scott, questioned if the child had been located, or if the agents even knew if it was in fact a 14 year old boy. Ultimately, Hope who was on the witness stand stated that is was an “assumption” regarding it truthfully being a 14 year old. The chat log in its entirety was not made public to the court.

During testimony pertaining to the detention portion of the hearing, incidents dating back to 1984, 85, 95, and 2007 were brought into question for multiple DUIs, as well as a domestic violence aggravated assault incident that allegedly occurred in Florida. However May's brother, Ronnie May, took the stand in his defense to state he has never been to Florida. Ronnie added that he (Mark) cannot drive, as well as has a medical condition, and that he has been here (Laurel) for the past 15 to 20 years.

Judge Parker ruled that the evidence regarding May's past would be accepted, but would warrant further inspection.

Parker added that with the significant amount of child porn even if May was sent home… “An ankle bracelet will tell me where the defendant is, but not where the minors are.”

May was transported back to a Stone County facility where he will be housed until a future court date will be set.

Copyright 2015 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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