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Army soldier who fled to North Korea charged with desertion and child p0rn


NBC News

A troubled U.S. Army private who defected to North Korea in July has been charged with desertion and possession of child p*rnography.

Pvt. Travis King, who was deported by North Korea last month, is charged with 8 counts of desertion, assault against officers and solicitation of child p*rnography, according to Reuters.

King’s charges include solicitation of nude images from an underage Snapchat user and possession of a video of a minor engaged in sexual activity.

The charges were filed on Sunday. King is being held at a civilian jail outside Fort Bliss, near El Paso, Texas, according to his attorneys.

Sherry Bunn, King’s El Paso-based attorney, said she has “grave concerns that he will be OK,” in jail.

“The conditions there are horrible and it amounts to basically putting him in solitary confinement right after he’s returned from captivity,” said King’s lead attorney, Franklin D. Rosenblatt.

King’s mother, Claudine Gates, said she loves her son “unconditionally” and she is “extremely concerned about his mental health,” in a statement provided by family spokesman Jonathan Franks.

“As his mother, I ask that my son be afforded the presumption of innocence,” Gates said. She added that she believes “something happened to [King] while he was deployed.”

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His legal team is seeking King’s return to his Army unit while the legal proceedings are ongoing.

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