CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Federal authorities say a Clarksville man, who had applied to be a substitute middle school teacher, is facing child pornography charges.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents arrested 27-year-old Austin Kidd at his home on March 17. He appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge for a detention hearing on Wednesday morning.
According to a criminal complaint, in March 2020, HSI agents in Nashville received an investigative referral about his internet activity and his IP address from 2019.
Investigators said the FBI was also notified of an IP address in San Antonio, Texas that was used to access online child sexual abuse and exploitation material. They said this address was found to have been occupied by Kidd during the time of access and before he relocated to Clarksville.
HSI agents said the IP address associated with Kidd’s Clarksville residence had accessed a router that is an “anonymizing network” that hides the IP address of users and is commonly used when accessing child pornography.
Agents got a federal search warrant for Kidd’s residence and seized his cell phone and other devices. Investigators said to date, 260 suspected images and videos depicting child sexual abuse have been identified on the devices.
According to the complaint, Kidd is in the final hiring process to become a substitute teacher for middle school children.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. He’s been ordered to remain in custody, pending trial.