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West Michigan Woman Says Son Charged In Porn Case Wouldn’t Hurt Daycare Kids

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LOWELL, Mich. (AP) – A western Michigan woman told state officials she did not believe her son, who was accused of viewing child pornography at a home where she operated a day care, would harm the children she was looking after, according to documents obtained by a newspaper.

Shelley Stiehl’s day care license was revoked days after it was determined by authorities that her son, Travis Stiehl was looking at child porn at the home in Lowell.

Travis Stiehl, 23, was arraigned in April on state charges of child sexually abusive activity and illegal computer use. An indictment from a federal grand jury Thursday accuses Stiehl of producing sexually explicit photographs and videos of children as young as 2 on eight occasions between 2011 and 2013. Officials have not said whether the alleged victims were day care clients.

Documents from the Department of Human Services investigation, which were obtained by The Grand Rapids Press under the Freedom of Information Act, detail an interview with Shelley Stiehl. In that interview, she told a licensing consultant she addressed the allegation with her son and was told those he viewed in the videos were not “that young.” She said her son told her he looked at children 16 and older.

Shelley Stiehl described her son as a “good kid” who was around the day-care children for about 45 minutes each morning and would not harm them.

Travis Stiehl had 2,000 images of child pornography on a hard drive, the government said.

In an interview late last month with WOOD-TV, Travis Stiehl said he was “sorry about everything.”

“I mean I’m regretting every minute of it,” he said.

“I know what I did was not right. I mean, it was wrong and I should be where I am,” Stiehl said from jail.

He has been locked up since his April 25 arrest at his mother’s house.

Shelley Stiehl, who was licensed in 2001, had her license revoked Dec. 11. She agreed not to apply for a new one or certificate of registration for a child care organization for two years.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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