Feds: Self-described Bay Area ‘hebephile’ downloaded child torture videos, claimed it was inadvertent and ‘victimless crime’

SAN JOSE — A Mountain View man was arrested on federal charges that he downloaded child porn, including videos of young children being violently abused and tortured, over the last five months, court records show.

Min Hao Wu, 35, was charged in federal court with possessing child porn between last December and May. The charges are the result of an investigation into suspicious activity involving peer to peer, or P2P downloads onto his computer, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint describes more than a half-dozen videos that Wu allegedly downloaded, including depictions of young child being duct-taped, raped, beaten, and burned.

When he was interviewed by authorities last month, Wu allegedly claimed that the downloads of child porn depicting young children were inadvertent and that he was trying to download videos of older children. As proof, he described himself as a “hebephile,” or someone who’s attracted to teens, according to the complaint.

Authorities also say that Wu — who also went by Matt Wu, according to the complaint — said that his crimes were limited to “fantasy” and he’d never sexually abused a child. He allegedly described himself as a “tech savvy” person who believed he could do it without being detected, the complaint alleges.

“Wu further noted he believed himself to be engaging in a ‘victimless crime,’ noting in part that he never enabled the production or exchange of child pornography,” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Brian Benson wrote in the complaint. “Wu however acknowledged that by virtue of using a P2P client, he had enabled other individuals to download and view child pornography.”

Wu remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail. He is set to go before a federal magistrate on Monday, who will determine whether to release him. Under federal law, unless prosecutors can prove there can be no release conditions — such as barring him from the internet or requiring an ankle monitor — that will ensure public safety, he will likely be released.

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