Child porn case dismissed

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WALLA WALLA — Charges against a man accused of sharing child pornography over the Internet in 2010 have been dismissed in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Rostislav V. Bondarenko, 25, had been accused of first-degree possessing and first-degree dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

But at the urging of defense attorney William McCool, Judge John Lohrmann on Tuesday suppressed evidence seized through search warrants and dismissed the case.

That’s because an initial law enforcement affidavit supplied to Spokane County District Court “failed to establish probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity would be found” in Bondarenko’s dorm room at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, according to the order Lohrmann signed.

A subsequent warrant issued by College Place Municipal Court was based entirely on the evidence wrongfully seized from the Cheney dorm room, Lohrmann ruled. Therefore, that evidence also was suppressed.

Officials claimed Bondarenko, while living in College Place in August 2010, shared child pornography with a covert FBI agent in Salt Lake City.

The FBI investigation tracked the location — from which the computer files were sent — to an apartment where Bondarenko had been staying in the 200 block of Northeast Birch Avenue in College Place, according to officials. The following month, he reportedly moved to EWU.

Authorities served the search warrants at his dorm room at EWU and the College Place apartment, and seized seven computer hard drives. “A forensic search of the hard drives found that four of the devices contained child pornography,” according to a College Place police report filed in court.

Most of the images Bondarenko was accused of sharing depict sexual abuse of children by adults, children engaging in sexual activity with other children and children posing nude in sexually explicit poses.

Bondarenko was arrested April 5 in College Place, but was released from the Walla Walla County Jail after bond was posted the next day.

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