A Lebanon registered sex offender was arrested Tuesday during an extensive investigation into the online distribution of child pornography, according to a news release from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Mark Richard McKuhn, 41, admitted to searching for and collecting child porn over the internet, the news release states. He also told deputies he contacted minors with the intent of obtaining explicit photographs of children.

On Wednesday afternoon, McKuhn was charged in Linn County Circuit Court with seven counts of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse and one count of encouraging the sexual assault of an animal.

“The state showed some restraint in its charging decision. There were far more files than were charged,” said prosecutor Ani Yardumian, during the brief hearing.

McKuhn appeared from the Linn County Jail via teleconference.

Judge Thomas McHill set bail at $250,000, citing the severity of the charges and the prior criminal history.

In 1999, McKuhn pleaded guilty to first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse in Linn County Circuit Court. Several other sex crimes charges were dismissed. He was sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison, according to Oregon’s online court database.

Deputies served a search warrant on Tuesday at a house on North Second Street in Lebanon. Four people were inside, and other registered sex offenders live in the home. 

Additional charges may be filed following digital forensic examination of devices seized during the search warrant, according to the news release.

The Albany Police Department, Linn County Parole and Probation and the Lebanon Police Department assisted during the search warrant.

The investigation is continuing, and those with information about the case should contact Detective John Trenary at 541-917-6665.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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