Husband and Wife Arrested on Child Molestation Charges (from a Cybertipline Success Story Email 10-7-08)
On August 14, 2008, the CyberTipline received an anonymous report regarding possible pornographic images of children on the computer of an adult male in Watertown, New York. The reporting person was also concerned that the reported suspect might be sexually exploiting a female toddler.
An analyst with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s Exploited Children Division (ECD) conducted online and public database searches and located a current address for the suspect. The analyst immediately sent the CyberTipline report to the New York Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force for investigation. Armed with this information, State Police investigators went out to the suspect’s home in Watertown, New York for a “knock and talk” and successfully received permission from him to seize his computer. After finding child pornography on the suspect’s computer, investigators returned to the home on September 18, 2008 and arrested both the suspect and his wife.
Unfortunately, the content seized by law enforcement turned out to be the tip of the iceberg. During the course of their investigation, police learned that the suspect, a former soldier at Fort Drum, and his wife, currently a lab technician at Fort Drum, had been molesting four children, ranging in age from 16 months to 13 years old. Computer forensics uncovered messages between the parties suggesting that both were active participants and complicit in the assaults against the children. Law enforcement is investigating the possibility that there are not only additional local victims, but victims in Texas and Kentucky, where one or both suspects have spent time.
Both suspects have been charged with First Degree Rape, Possessing an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child, Predatory Sexual Assault on a Child, Criminal Sexual Act, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. They have been arraigned and are being held without bail. The charges against them carry a maximum penalty of a life sentence in prison. The children have been removed from the home and are safely in state custody or with relatives.