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Utah man with prior sex offender history charged with possessing child porn

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man with a prior criminal history of child sex abuse faces new charges after prosecutors say thousands of child porn images were found on his computer.

Michael W. Fritchen, 64, of North Salt Lake, was charged Thursday in 2nd District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

On Jan. 19, members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force served a search warrant on Fritchen’s computer and “located thousands of images of child pornography and thousands of search terms related to child pornography,” according to charging documents.

A police affidavit further stated that investigators found “over 13,000 images of child pornography.

“The child pornography located on Michael’s computer was of infant, toddler and prepubescent rape,” the affidavit states.

In 1998, Fritchen was convicted of sodomy of a child, and in 2011 an amended charge of attempted failure to register as a sex offender.

“On or about April 13, 1993 (Fritchen) was sentenced to 10 years confinement. (He) was also discharged from the military. (Fritchen) was later incarcerated at Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota. (He) was released from confinement in 2000,” the affidavit states.

An initial court appearance was scheduled for Jan. 29.