Gravy-covered computer leads to Iowa man’s arrest for child pornography

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Court documents show a Des Moines man accused of possessing child porn was caught after he spilled gravy on his laptop and needed help from technical support.

The criminal complaint against Robert Watson said he brought his laptop, which he had spilled gravy on, to Best Buy in August 2018 because it was inoperable. He bought a new laptop and paid the store’s Geek Squad to transfer the files from the “gravy covered computer” to the new laptop.

During the transfer, employees noticed several images they believed contained child pornography and notified authorities.

Des Moines police investigated both computers. The complaint said Watson told detectives he “believes the pictures are of 4 and 5 year olds that Robert felt were about to have sex.” He claimed to have downloaded the images “because he wanted to tell other people about them.”

Watson is charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography and was arrested Tuesday. He is being held in the Polk County Jail on a bond of $50,000.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 10.

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