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Jefferson City man charged with child pornography crimes after search

Mel Lahr
Cole County Jail
Mel Lahr


A 77-year-old Jefferson City man was in the Cole County Jail on Thursday morning after a Boone County Cyber Crimes Task Force investigation led to a search of his home.

Investigators say they found dozens of sexual images of children in an online file-sharing account registered to Mel J. Lahr. The files included videos of children as young as preschoolers performing sex acts on adults, according to a probable cause statement.

Lahr told investigators that he had shared about 100 images of the account and had been viewing child pornography for about 30 years, according to the statement. He also allegedly told investigators that he had been in a sexual relationship with a minor when he was younger.

Detectives found an unpublished biography in Lahr's room detailing his abuse of "unknown minors," the statement says.

Detectives searched his home Wednesday and seized electronics.

The Jefferson City Diocese of the Catholic Church removed Lahr from the ministry in 2018 “because of a credible allegation of violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” according to the diocese website.

Lahr was in the Cole County Jail on Thursday morning without bond.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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