Clarksville Man, Austin Kidd Facing Child Pornography Charges
Defendant had Applied to be a Substitute Middle School Teacher
NASHVILLE, TE (STL.News) March 24, 2021 – A Clarksville, Tennessee man was arrested last week and charged with possession of child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart. Austin Kidd, 27, was arrested on March 17th at his home by agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Kidd appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes this morning for a detention hearing and was ordered held in custody pending trial.
According to the criminal complaint, in March 2020, HSI Nashville received an investigative referral pertaining to Kidd and his internet activity in April 2019. Agents were able to identify a Facebook account, “ShadowPhoenix24,” as belonging to Kidd and through further investigation, agents identified Internet Protocol (IP) addresses associated with Kidd’s home address in Clarksville. Agents were also aware that in August 2019, a foreign law enforcement agency notified the FBI of an IP address in San Antonio, Texas that was used to access online child sexual abuse and exploitation material. This address was found to have been occupied by Kidd during the time the access occurred and before he relocated to Clarksville.
Through further investigation, HSI agents determined that the IP address associated with Kidd’s Clarksville residence had accessed The Onion Router (TOR) network, which is an anonymizing network that masks the IP address of users and is commonly used by persons when accessing child pornography. Based on the information obtained through the investigation, agents obtained a federal search warrant for Kidd’s residence and subsequently seized his cell phone and other media storage devices. To date, approximately 260 suspected images and videos depicting child sexual abuse have been identified on the devices.
The complaint further alleges that Kidd is in the final hiring process to become a substitute teacher for middle school children.
If convicted, Kidd faces up to 20 years in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica Morrison.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Kidd is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.