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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The owner and operator of a Middletown television repair shop is facing eight felony charges for distributing and possessing child pornography, court records state.
The Dec. 18 indictment returned against Kerry Lee Trinkle, while only representing one side of the case, follows an investigation that began this summer by members of the cyber crimes unit of the Kentucky Attorney General's Office.
A raid on Trinkle's business, Jackson T.V. and Electronics in Middletown, in mid-September led investigators to recover a computer containing 13,000 images depicting the sexual abuse of children, according to a statement from the Attorney General's office.
Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Jack Conway, said investigators must now look through every single image to identify the victims and determine if any of them are children who have been reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. From there, Martin says, authorities could begin to identify victims and it could lead to additional charges or arrests.
Martin would not explain what led investigators to Trinkle.
"Sufficed to say, there was a large volume of child pornography being traded and we were able to pinpoint that to a location in Louisville and that was the business that was located there in Middletown," Martin said in an interview with WDRB News.
"And with that search warrant (investigators) found 13,000 images of child pornography located on a computer. And that computer belonged to Mr. Trinkle and it was found at that business," Martin added.
Trinkle appeared in Jefferson Circuit Court Monday afternoon where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. Trinkle told the judge he did not have an attorney but planned on hiring on before his next court appearance in February.
The judge released Trinkle on his own recognizance so long as there were no other offenses and he attends all of his court dates.
When reached by phone, Trinkle identified himself but declined to comment when asked about the charges. The Kentucky Secretary of State's business database shows his business filing is in good standing with the state, but lists the wrong address.
"Well I think it's extremely sad when you hear of any kind of story that have to do with the charges that have been filed - especially being a business owner in the community and a parent. It's a sad state that we live in that people make poor choices and find themselves in situations like this," said Heather Fortier, who owns a business in Middletown.
Fortier's husband said there hasn't been much activity at the tv repair shop and that he had only seen Trinkle once.
"My heart goes out to the families involved and whatever else they find out. It's just very shocking and sad," said Heather Fortier.