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Oregon couple charged in child porn

Sept. 6, 2012 at 8:26 AM

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- An Oregon couple is accused of producing child pornography in a case that went nationwide as officers tried to identify a man and woman shown in the photos.

Michelle Lee Freeman, 40, and her husband, Michael Serapis Freeman, 39, of Salem were charged Wednesday with sexually exploiting children, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.

Agents of Homeland Security Investigations began in June trying to identify a man and a woman shown in digital photos sexually exploiting two young girls. The man's face had been digitally hidden, but a portion of the woman's face could be seen.

In early August, agents gave photos of the woman's face to national news media, and thousands of people posted the images on Facebook.

Tipsters told investigators the woman looked like Michelle Freeman. As agents began focusing on her, the Freemans called Salem police to say they were the people being sought.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the call came after friends of the Freemans told them they were going to report them to the police, ABC News reported.

The couple was arrested Tuesday night at their home. They appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate John V. Acosta on charges of exploiting children for the production of child pornography.

If convicted, they could face at least 15 years in prison.

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