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Woman turns in boyfriend after finding child porn on his phone: prosecutors

Cook County's Leighton Criminal Court building. | Sun-Times files

A woman who suspected her boyfriend was cheating made a disturbing discovery when she went looking through his cell phone last weekend and found child porn, according to Cook County prosecutors.

While searching for evidence of her boyfriend’s suspected misdeeds, the woman allegedly discovered at least five photos depicting children — some younger than 5 years old — engaged in sexual acts or posed in a lewd manner.

She reported her findings to Chicago police, who arrested 42-year-old Christopher Negrete on Wednesday night at a South Loop restaurant, according to court records.

Christopher Negrete | Chicago police
Christopher Negrete | Chicago police

Negrete appeared for a bail hearing Friday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on a charge of possession of child pornography of a person under the age of 13.

Judge David Navarro set Negrette’s bail at $10,000, but Negrete’s attorney said he didn’t believe his client could come up with the $1,000 needed to post bond while awaiting trial.

In October, Negrete moved in with his then-girlfriend and her children, Assistant State’s Attorney Nancee Hofheimer said in court.

The couple began having relationship issues, stemming from sexual conversations Negrete was having with other women over various applications on his phone, Hofheimer said. On Saturday, his girlfriend began looking through his phone, eventually opening the Whisper application.

Whisper is a “secret-sharing app” allowing users to chat with other users and share images and videos while remaining semi-anonymous, according to reporting by Gizmodo.

The woman opened the app and found conversations between Negrete and others in which Negrete referred to himself as a “pedo” and bragged about having sex “with lots of young girls” between 14 and 17 years old, Hofheimer said.

The woman also discovered Negrete had requested and received “at least five pictures of child pornography.” Some images featured children under the age of 5, Hofheimer said.

“The images show children engaged in various forms of sexual penetration with adults, children posing in a lewd manner and children bound or tied up in a sexual context,” Hofheimer said.

A defense attorney for Negrete said Negrete grew up in Kansas and moved to Illinois to attend college. He has lived in Cook County for 15 years and most recently worked for a “bar trivia company.” The attorney said Negrete had never been arrested before.

Negrete was living in the Jefferson Park neighborhood at the time of his arrest, according to police records.

Navarro ordered Negrete to have no contact with the woman or anyone under the age of 18 while the case continues. His next hearing was set for March 20; Negrete’s bail will be reviewed then if he is unable to post bond.