MCSO: Mesa man arrested for child porn; wife runs day care

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by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

azfamily.com

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 25 at 11:38 AM

Map: Higley and Brown roads

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MESA, Ariz. --  Maricopa County Sheriff’s investigators made a shocking discovery in a Mesa neighborhood, where they arrested a man with hundreds of child pornography files on his computer.  His wife, according to investigators, runs a day care out of their home.

The arrest documents say Christopher Clark, 54, admitted to deputies that he can't stop looking at child pornography.  Investigators say Clark told them he couldn’t quit, even after his wife caught him watching the videos six months ago.

Investigators say they found hundreds of child-porn files on Clark's computer, including videos showing young boys and girls performing sex acts with adults.

The Clarks are well-known and liked throughout their neighborhood. Parents up and down their street trust the Clarks to watch their kids and were baffled to hear the allegations.

“[It’s] shocking; very shocking -- especially when you have two little kids who go over there,” said Brittany Steffen, whose kids spend up to four days a week at the Clarks' home.  “But they're very nice people.  [We] never saw it coming.”

“Everybody’s going to be angry, but you never see it coming like that,” said Harold Jones, who lives and has kids with Steffen. “Everybody knows [Clark] on the block.  Everybody knows him in the neighborhood.  He's still a nice guy.  I don't know what to say, honestly.”

The Clarks had no comment when 3TV went to their home near Higley and Brown roads in Mesa.  However, their attorney said he will aggressively fight the charges.

“Unfortunately people that seek out child pornography, they tend to go to other people's houses to do that because they know it's so risky and that may well be one of our defenses.  I just don't know at this time because I don't know enough information,” said Michael Urbano, Clark’s attorney.

Clark is out of jail on bond.  As a condition of his release he and his wife can’t have kids around the house, including their own grandchildren. Clark also can’t use the Internet.  Urbano said he’s even advised Clark to have his cell phone carrier disable the data connection to prevent an accidental breach of the release terms.

“It’s a little nerve wracking.  We’ve got a four-and-a-half year old… I’m sure she would have ended up playing with the other kids who are at the [Clarks’] house.  Makes us a little nervous,” said Chad Boyd, Clark’s next door neighbor.

Clark faces 10 counts of sexual endangerment of a minor.

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