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Man Arrested After Faking His Own Death 6 Years Ago to Avoid Trial for Child Porn Charges

Authorities said Jacob Greer, 28, was a "survivalist" who had intentions to "live off the land" and hide out in abandoned cabins to avoid detection.

Header image mugshot credit to US Marshals Service.

CBS News reports that an Iowa man who faked his own death to avoid trial for “child pornography” charges after nearly six years on the run has been arrested in Washington state, the U.S. Marshals Service announced Tuesday.

Authorities said Jacob Greer, 28, was a “survivalist” who had intentions to “live off the land” and hide out in abandoned cabins.

In April 2016, he was arrested in Iowa for the alleged possession and distribution of child sexual exploitation material—legally defined as “child pornography”—and was released on bond under pretrial supervision and lived with his grandmother in Des Moines, Iowa, with an ankle monitor.

An alert on May 31, 2016, notified Greer’s probation officer that his GPS device had been removed, triggering a search by multiple agencies. CBS reports that officials later found Greer’s vehicle with a suicide note inside of it, but did not find his body.

Authorities issued a federal arrest warrant for Greer that same day.

Related: How To Report Child Sexual Abuse Material If You Or Someone You Know Sees It Online

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In Flathead, Montana, on June 8, 2016, investigators found a vehicle that Greer had bought with a $1,000 loan from a friend. Authorities learned that he fled Iowa with money, a backpack filled with survival gear, along with a bow and arrows, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Greer was last spotted wearing a camouflage hat at a Wal-Mart in Kalispell, Montana on June 3, 2016.

Then, this week, he was discovered.

On Monday, officials located and arrested Greer in Spanaway, Washington. He is currently at the Federal Detention Center in Seattle, Washington and will be brought back to Iowa where he will stand trial.

Click here to read the original report by CBS News.

Report child sexual exploitation material

While this story is completely wild and out of the ordinary, the issue of child sexual abuse images is, unfortunately, all too common.

There were more reports of explicit images depicting minors to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2020 than ever —17 million reports in 2019 vs 21.8 million in 2020. And 10.4 million of those 2021 reports were unique images.

So, what if the material you’re seeing isn’t just “normal” porn? What if it’s child sexual abuse material (CSAM) or child sexual exploitation material (CSEM)—commonly known as “child porn?” What, if anything, should you do then? And what if someone you know is seeking it out?

Keep in mind that if someone under the age of 18 is taking, receiving, or sending nude pictures of other under-18-year-olds, this also counts as distributing child sexual abuse material under the law.

The law, as it pertains to child exploitation imagery is incredibly clear. Defined as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age),” violations of child sexual abuse material lead to severe statutory penalties with steep fines and up to life imprisonment. In other words, this is really serious.

Visual depictions include “photographs, videos, digital or computer-generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable actual minor.”

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What if someone I know is looking at and seeking out child sexual abuse material?

If you know someone who has been viewing images of underage children, this is by no means an easy situation, and we want to walk you through what to do.

While some people may feel that they are not “abusing” a child by “just watching” pornography with children, there is a child being sexually abused in any situation where they are the object of an adult’s or other child’s sexual behaviors.

Related: MindGeek, Pornhub’s Parent Company, Sued For Reportedly Hosting Videos Of Child Sex Trafficking

If you discover someone you know is seeking CSAM, talk to them. Give them the option to report what they’ve seen, or let them know you’re willing to report it yourself. Reach out to therapy resources in your area, and see about getting this person some help—an interest in CSAM is very serious and needs addressing.

When encountering CSAM, based on the above definition, one should report it to the proper U.S. authorities. In order to do that, you have to know who to reach out to based on where you saw this content.

The two prominent sources of CSAM in the U.S. are the mail, and on the internet.

This is less common, but if you see child exploitation images in the mail, definitely contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Their number is listed online, and you can give them a call.

Related: How OnlyFans Reportedly Facilitates And Profits From Child Sex Trafficking

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The second source is much, much more common: the internet.

If you encounter CSAM on the internet, you can report the site address to your customs office, local or state FBI, or your internet service provider. You can find their respective contact info listed online through a simple Google search, of course.

According to the Sex Trafficking Program Strategist for the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice in Oregon, when you are in doubt regarding how or where to report any source of CSAM, you should check out the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at https://report.cybertip.org/. You can also call their hotline at 1-800-843-5678. The government-run organization will forward your report to a law enforcement agency for investigation or action.

We can’t emphasize this enough: if you see something, say something. Don’t let this content go unreported.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the following: by reporting your encounter with CSAM to the organizations we just mentioned, you make it possible for a child or children to be saved, and the trafficker(s) who exploits minors to be held accountable.

To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt, or production of CSAM, file a report on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s website at www.cybertipline.com, or call 1-800-843-5678.

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