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October 07, 2010 05:52 PM

Court Papers Filed In Child Porn Possession Case


A Hoven doctor who's practiced for decades is now accused of having hundreds of pornographic photos of children.


Officials arrested 74-year-old John Coddington Wednesday in Wishik, North Dakota, and KELOLAND News knows more about what investigators found in his home.

Coddington was the medical director of the Hoven Medical Clinic.  Thursday, the clinic's website says the hospital there is no longer offering emergency services.

But it's Coddington who could face the most trouble, now charged with five counts of having child pornography. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 70 years in prison.

According to the court papers filed Thursday in Potter County, an investigator first spoke with Dr. John Coddington just two weeks ago, on September 23, at the hospital in Hoven.

That's when Coddington told the special agent he had used a computer program to secure files on his computer. The doctor told the agent he did that to secure financial information, but he wouldn't give the password to the agent.

That same day, a search warrant was issued for Coddington's apartment and investigators took four computers from the doctor's home.

On September 29, the special agent began to search the computer, and by last Friday, the agent had found 200 to 300 photos of children in sexual acts or simulated acts. The special agent says the photos also indicate the children's ages, some of which are as young as three years old.

The papers also indicate the photos were stored in various files on the computer. At least one was listed under the user "John" and another download folder belonged to an email address used by John Coddington.

An attorney for the hospital in Hoven says the staff and board of the hospital have been advised to answer "no comment" to any questions about the arrest. And that's the answer he gave when asked if the closing of the hospital and the arrest were connected.
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