EWU student arrested in child porn case

Rostislav V. Bondarenko, who had been living in College Place, was arrested Thursday.

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COLLEGE PLACE -- An Eastern Washington University student who had been living in College Place was arrested Thursday for investigation of possessing and dealing in child pornography.

Rostislav V. Bondarenko, 26, was taken into custody by College Place Police Thursday. He made his first appearance in Walla Walla County Superior Court this morning, where bail was set at $50,000 by Judge John Lorhmann.

According to a probable cause statement filed by College Place Police Detective Roger Maidment, the department received information in September 2010 from the Spokane FBI office that a city resident had been sharing child pornography via the Internet with a covert agent in Salt Lake City.

The FBI investigation tracked the suspect's Internet address to an account belonging to an apartment in the 200 block of Birch Avenue. In his statement, Maidment said the FBI investigation identified Bondarenko as the person using an online name to share files containing child pornography.

Maidment said College Place police served a search warrant on the apartment, seizing two hard drives, computer equipment and other items. A relative living at the residence confirmed that Bondarenko had been living there, but had moved to Eastern Washington University about two weeks before the search warrant was served.

After being contacted by College Place Police, campus police at EWU served a search warrant on Bondarenko's dormitory room, seizing five more hard drives along with various computer components and accessories. A forensic search of the hard drives found four of the devices contained images of child pornography and evidence connecting Bondarenko to the child pornography shared with the FBI's covert agent.

Maidment said Bondarenko is apparently a Russian citizen.

"He is not a citizen here," Maidment said today. "He was asking for the Russian Consulate. We believe that's where he's from."

U-B writer Luke Hegdal contributed to this report. Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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