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Five years dealt in Duluth child porn case

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Facing a jury trial this week, a Duluth man instead pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and was sentenced to serve five years in prison, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

With a jury seated and waiting, Michael Lodge, 26, switched gears and pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexual exploitation of children and possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, said Gwinnett Assistant District Attorney Karen Harris. Another count of sexual exploitation of children was dropped.

Lodge was sentenced to serve five years in prison and will undergo sex offender evaluation and treatment, in addition to other special conditions. He was taken into custody in the courtroom, Harris said.

Lodge was initially arrested by Gwinnett police in October last year.

An investigator zeroed in on Lodge when an IP address was traced to him from what Harris called "an online resource commonly used by pedophiles to download and share child pornography."

A quick search of Lodge's home desktop computer revealed about 75 images and videos of child pornography, Harris said.

Harris said a small amount of marijuana was also located in Lodge's residence when the search warrant was executed.