ISU grad student now facing federal child porn charges

Local News

AMES – A man who was sentenced for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse is now being charged with two federal crimes: possessing child pornography and another count for receipt of child pornography.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Jona Paulus allegedly “knowingly received and possessed child pornography on his cell phone in April of 2019.”

Paulus, 33, previously faced charges of Sexual Abuse — Forcible Rape, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor — Cause to Engage in a Prohibited Sexual Act and Purchase/Possession of a Minor in a Sex Act First Offense.  He is a graduate student at Iowa State University.

As part of the plea agreement in his state case, Paulus must register as a sex offender, meaning he will no longer be allowed on the Iowa State University Campus. Paulus is currently serving time in Story County jail.

The federal case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security with assistance from the Iowa State University Police Department. This matter is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Child Initiative.

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