GREAT FALLS – A man has been charged in Great Falls after being found in possession of child pornography.
Court documents indicate that law enforcement received a tip in April 2021 through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children regarding William Lee Darnell.
Officers obtained a search warrant and discovered numerous images of child pornography material (referred to as CSAM in court documents).
Darnell was questioned by a Great Falls police officer on July 7.
According to court documents, Darnell told the officer he downloaded a web browser to his computer that allowed him to access the “dark web” and that he viewed and downloaded numerous sexually explicit images of young girls. .
He told the officer he saved the footage to his computer, but at one point he said he felt guilty because he knew it was wrong, and he deleted the footage .
He told the officer he “never touched the children.”
When the officer asked Darnell what he was looking for on the dark web, Darnell called for a lawyer and the interview was over.
Darnell has been charged with one count of child sexual abuse.
Darnell’s bond was set at $ 50,000; court documents indicate that Darnell “poses a risk to the community for its continued use and attempts to cover up his behaviors that prey on children.”