Paso Robles man facing felony charges for production and possession of child pornography
A Paso Robles man is in San Luis Obispo County jail facing multiple felony charges surrounding the production and possession of child pornography.
Police say 51-year-old Steven Martin Lindhorst was arrested Wednesday at his Paso Robles home.
Investigators with the Paso Robles Police Department (PRPD) say at least 14 victims have been identified and there could possibly be more.
Lieutenant Tim Murphy with the Paso Robles Police Department says a family member tipped off investigators about the illegal activity. He says, had that not happened this case may have never come to light.
"We as a police department, just like any other police department, rely on the public to be just those eyes and ears out there in the community for us," said Murphy. "If they think that something illegal is going on, or something is suspicious, they need to call their local police department and let the police get out there and investigate."
Detectives received the tip on Jan. 6, 2015 and obtained a search warrant allowing the officers to analyze files on Lindhorst's computer with the assistance of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab. PRPD says several digital images of suspected child pornography were discovered, and some appeared to have been manufactured by Lindhorst.
A second warrant turned up even more evidence, police say. In total, detectives gathered roughly 24,000 images and 200 videos, most "containing images of pubescent children engaged in sexual acts" according to a media release.
Detectives say the investigation is still ongoing as they work to identify more victims. Anyone with information regarding this case—or any other criminal activity—is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-7867 or submit an online tip at the SLO TIPS website. You can submit a tip via text too, by texting to 274637 (CRIMES).