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Cops: Seattle molester under state's watch begged for child porn

SEATTLE -- A Seattle child molester already under state supervision for collecting child pornography is now accused of rebuilding his collection.

King County prosecutors claim Scott M. Cohen downloaded child pornography at Seattle Public Libraries, the University of Washington and a mental health clinic. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Cecelia Gregson described Cohen as evidencing "egregious, unending, exploitive criminality."

Cohen, 52, dodged prison when he was caught molesting a child in 2004. He was sentenced to a three-year term in 2012 after collecting thousands of child rape images online, and has been under Department of Corrections' watch since his release in 2014.

It was a tip from Google that sparked the investigation that led Seattle Police Department detectives to raid Cohen's University District home on Tuesday. According to charging papers, investigators believe Cohen was collecting child pornography again by December 2014.

Writing the court, a Seattle detective assigned to an internet crimes against children taskforce said a Cohen downloaded child pornography at a number of public Wi-Fi sites. Among them, the detective said, were Seattle Public Library, the University of Washington, a mental health clinic and an unspecified King County building.

The images involved showed the sexual abuse of several young children, according to charging papers. Detectives claim to have linked a mobile phone and email used to download the images to Cohen.

Reviewing Cohen's email, investigators found he'd joined several Seattle-area groups catering to sexual fetishes, including "Seattle Daddies/Little Girls," according to charging papers. Police say he described himself as "safe" to members of one group while looking for a ride to a pool party.

The detective said Cohen sought out photos taken of a group of Ukrainian girls caught in a child pornography ring broken up in 2004. She noted that 1,500 girls aged 8 to 16 were believed to have been involved in the ring.

Cohen, the detective told the court, resorted to begging when another child pornography collector refused to share child rape photos.

"Your pictures are exactly what I'm looking for," he said in an email to the other man, according to charging papers. "So please, please!! Beg, beg."

Police claim to have recovered lengthy exchanges between Cohen and others related to child pornography and sexual abuse. He appears to have been identified as a suspect in recent days, when police determined he was living at a University District boarding house.

Investigators served a search warrant Wednesday and arrested Cohen, who was charged later that day with dealing child pornography. According to charging papers, he declined to speak with police.

Cohen previously pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in November 2012. Then, as now, he was accused of using online networks to trade child pornography.

The earlier allegations stemmed from a 2010 tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Cohen had pleaded guilty to child molestation six years before; he received a suspended prison sentence at the time after agreeing to undergo treatment and submit to court supervision.

Writing the court, Gregson, the prosecutor, said Cohen "faces at the very least another decade in prison in the state system."

The allegations may also be moved into federal court, where Cohen would likely face stiffer penalties and more aggressive monitoring if he is eventually released.

Cohen has been charged with four counts of dealing child pornography. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

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