An Ocean Springs man is set to go to trial in April on federal charges that he used children he knows and others to perform sexually explicit acts that he videotaped, produced and transmitted to others over the Internet, according to court records.
In a six-count indictment, Phillip Joseph Spear, 59, is charged with producing, possessing, transporting and distributing child pornography. He is also accused of videotaping a 15- or 16-year-old girl he knows having oral sex with him, according to an investigator’s sworn affidavit.
The crimes occurred between Feb. 14, 2010, and Sept. 8, 2016.
Spear has pleaded not guilty.
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Spear was arrested in an FBI raid at his home near East Beach in Ocean Springs in September. He has remained jailed without bond since then.
After his arrest, Spear told an investigator he has had an interest in sex with children since he was 12, records show. He said he’d been downloading child porn since he lived in the Philippines five or six years ago, according to documents.
The child porn Spear possessed could be downloaded on a file-sharing network, the affidavit said. Authorities doing an undercover search of computer users downloading child porn identified Spear’s IP address May 12 and later subpoenaed the internet service provider for records, which authorities said helped them identify Spear.
During a review of the files, an investigator said, he found pornography with titles such as “toddler” and “babyJ” and other sexually explicit videos, screen shots and pictures of young girls.
Because of the “enormous” amount of evidence in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones asked for Spear’s trial to be postponed until the April court calendar.