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'Hundreds' of child porn images found on NASA employee's computer, court documents say

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A 50-year-old NASA employee is facing several charges after hundreds of pornographic images of children were shared from his computer in January last year, according to court documents.

Scott Messenger is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of possession with the intent to promote child pornography.

He is a planetary scientist at the Johnson Space Center.

What we know

According to court documents, an investigation revealed Messenger was sharing the images from his computer at his El Lago home.

A search warrant was executed April 6, 2018.

The warrant was obtained after authorities said hundreds of child porn images were shared on Jan. 8, 2018, according to court documents.

What Messenger said

According to court documents, during an interview, Messenger admitted to using the software to download videos for his children to watch that are based in Japan and are adult pornography.

Messenger was very nervous during the interview, according to court documents.

He said he downloaded child pornography before and it was accidental and he deleted the images, according to court records.

Messenger told authorities he was the only user on the computer in question and that the search terms used when looking for the pornographic files were "probably pretty sick," according to court documents.

What's next

Messenger is due in court Sept. 18.

NASA said Messenger is currently on unpaid leave.