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Convicted sex offender faces porn charges


CONCORD — A convicted sex offender, who was convicted Monday in Merrimack County Superior Court on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges of registration of online identifiers and duty to report, was arrested on 15 new child pornography charges.

Christopher M. Merchant, 47, of 12 Hanover St., was arrested on warrants based on child pornography material found on computers and other electronic media when a search warrant was executed at his residence in September 2013, when he was arrested on the registration and duty to report charges.

Merchant, who was convicted of sexual assault in 2005, was accused of using the Internet and social networking sites to meet and/or exchange photos with young males.

Concord Police said the original complaint about Merchant was forwarded to the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The NCMEC had been contacted by a juvenile who said an adult male was using a social media website in an attempt to interact with the juvenile and made offers and requested nude photos.

The Concord Police Department is a member of the ICAC Task Force and began its investigation into Merchant’s activities in January 2013. Two months later, New Boston Police contacted Concord Police about a contact with Merchant who was found inside a vehicle with a 16-year-old male who admitted to meeting Merchant in an online chat room.

Concord also learned that a Manchester Police Officer had found Merchant in a vehicle with a male juvenile in February 2013, with both full-clothed, but with their pants on backward.

The juvenile later reported he had met Merchant via a social networking site and Concord Detectives learned Merchant was possibly using the name “Justin Kray” and presenting himself as an 18-year-old male.

It was during that investigation that police learned Merchant had failed to register any of his online identifiers, including email addresses, instant messaging screen names and social networking website screen names.

Concord Police are asking anyone with information about Merchant’s online activities and/or his obtaining child pornography to call them at 225-8600 or at the Concord Regional Crimeline number, 226-3100.

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