William Hartman – Internet Predator


KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – Kokomo police say they captured an online predator. Officers arrested 24-year-old William Hartman for child solicitation on Monday.

Authorities say the Kokomo man began chatting online with an investigator posing as a 15-year-old girl back in November. Hartman attempted to meet the child for sex at a pre-arranged location, where he was confronted by police.

This case is the first online arrest of a suspected child predator by the Kokomo Police Department.

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

William Hartman – Internet Predator


KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – Kokomo police say they captured an online predator. Officers arrested 24-year-old William Hartman for child solicitation on Monday.

Authorities say the Kokomo man began chatting online with an investigator posing as a 15-year-old girl back in November. Hartman attempted to meet the child for sex at a pre-arranged location, where he was confronted by police.

This case is the first online arrest of a suspected child predator by the Kokomo Police Department.

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sex offender hangs himself in Jail


A convicted sex offender apparently hanged himself this morning inside the Polk County Jail.

Investigators say 26-year-old David Spalding of Lakeland hanged himself with a bed sheet.

Records show Spalding was initially arrested in April 2006 on three counts of sexual battery. Detectives say his victim was a 14-year-old girl who ended up pregnant from the crime.

He pleaded guilty to some of the charges and was released last February after serving six months and being placed on 10 years probation.

He was recently arrested on probation violations. Investigators say he admitted he had contact with children under 18 and that he failed to move from his residence, as required by the court.

This morning jail officials say they found Spalding unresponsive during routine, early morning rounds at the jail.

Spalding’s two cellmates say they were unaware of the death. Medical personnel were not able to revive Spalding.

The death is under review of the Polk County State Attorney’s Office.

Sex offender hangs himself in Jail


A convicted sex offender apparently hanged himself this morning inside the Polk County Jail.

Investigators say 26-year-old David Spalding of Lakeland hanged himself with a bed sheet.

Records show Spalding was initially arrested in April 2006 on three counts of sexual battery. Detectives say his victim was a 14-year-old girl who ended up pregnant from the crime.

He pleaded guilty to some of the charges and was released last February after serving six months and being placed on 10 years probation.

He was recently arrested on probation violations. Investigators say he admitted he had contact with children under 18 and that he failed to move from his residence, as required by the court.

This morning jail officials say they found Spalding unresponsive during routine, early morning rounds at the jail.

Spalding’s two cellmates say they were unaware of the death. Medical personnel were not able to revive Spalding.

The death is under review of the Polk County State Attorney’s Office.

Fugitive Repeat Sex Offender CAPTURED


A Gilbert man wanted for failing to register as a sex offender and accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in August 2007 has been arrested.

Donnie Allen Moates, 27, was arrested Monday evening at an acquaintance’s home on Southland Road in Gilbert, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

He is being held today at the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a 3 p.m. bond hearing on charges of failing to register as a sex offender and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The arrest, which occurred with incident, followed a resident’s tip.

Moates was supposed to register as a sex offender in November 2007 following his September 2006 conviction of committing a lewd act on a child under 16, the sheriff’s department said.

The new criminal sexual conduct charge is based on the accusation that Moates put his hand in the underwear of a teenage girl as she slept after drinking a large amount of vodka supplied by Moates.

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fugitive Repeat Sex Offender CAPTURED


A Gilbert man wanted for failing to register as a sex offender and accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in August 2007 has been arrested.

Donnie Allen Moates, 27, was arrested Monday evening at an acquaintance’s home on Southland Road in Gilbert, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

He is being held today at the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a 3 p.m. bond hearing on charges of failing to register as a sex offender and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The arrest, which occurred with incident, followed a resident’s tip.

Moates was supposed to register as a sex offender in November 2007 following his September 2006 conviction of committing a lewd act on a child under 16, the sheriff’s department said.

The new criminal sexual conduct charge is based on the accusation that Moates put his hand in the underwear of a teenage girl as she slept after drinking a large amount of vodka supplied by Moates.

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kenneth Edward Threadgill – sexual exploitation of children GUILTY

A man from Great Falls has been sentenced to 85 years behind bars on child pornography charges.

Kenneth Edward Threadgill, 53, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to six counts of sexual exploitation of children and two counts of receipt and possession of child pornography.

Investigators say he was using the Internet at his Great Falls home to receive illegal images and authorities also seized his camera and video equipment, which contained pictures and video of nude minors.

The investigation revealed that Threadgill had produced child pornography and had over 600 images of child pornography in his possession.

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 8:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nine Canadians arrested in int’l child porn probe

Nine Canadians have been arrested as part of an international child pornography ring that provided “custom-made” sex abuse videos, authorities said Tuesday.

About 90 other Canadians are being investigated in the same international probe.

Among those arrested are a scout leader from Ontario and a Vancouver resident who allegedly positioned a telescope in his home to overlook a neighbouring school yard.

Details of the international probe “Operation Koala” were released at a news conference in Ottawa Tuesday morning.

Europol, who is heading the investigation, contacted Canadian authorities in 2007 to let them know they found about 600 Internet addresses linked to Canada.

Canadian authorities narrowed the list down to 98 individuals.

“The evidence indicates that those in possession of this material did not find it accidentally,” said RCMP Supt. Earla Kim McColl in charge of Canada’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre.

“They sought it out. They previewed the samples. They paid in advance and they waited for a password to download the videos,” she said.

Not all Canadian customers have been identified, a Canadian official said but the investigation is continuing.

In Canada, 18 law agencies, seven provinces, and 40 cities and municipalities were involved in the investigation.

In Ontario, four people have been arrested in connection with the investigation, according to Ontario Provincial Police Insp. Andy Stewart.

The most recent arrest was made in Ontario’s Peel region where a suspect was charged two weeks ago.

The suspect works in the community as a Big Brother to local children.

However, there are no accusations the suspect had any inappropriate relations with children.

He and three other suspects in Ontario have been charged with accessing and possessing child pornography. It was not immediately known if the other suspects worked with children as well.

According to a Europol news release issued in November, customers of the site had the option of interacting with the children that appeared on camera. They could buy them lingerie to wear or have them say the customer’s name. A customer could also opt to be in the video.

At the news conference Tuesday, European officials said one customer paid extra to have the child call him on the phone during the photo shoot.

Europol also alleged the lingerie the young girls were wearing were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

“We are not aware of any Ontario suspect involved in that capacity,” Stewart told CTV.ca Tuesday morning before the news conference.

Stewart, the manager of the child pornography section of the OPP, said he doesn’t expect to make any other arrests in Ontario regarding the case. However, he said there are still several addresses that have come up that are under investigation.

He also said Canadian officials didn’t take part in the earlier news conference because they were still investigating the role Canadians played in the international probe.

“Most of the cases are tied up now,” he said. “We’re in a better position to speak about it.”

Operation Koala

According to Europol, most of the material was produced in the Ukraine in a private studio. Others were produced in Belgium and the Netherlands

Europol officials were tipped off to the production ring after coming across a child abuse video in Australia. Their investigation led them to an Italian national whom authorities allege is the sole producer of the offensive material.

Police allege the 42-year-old man sold over 150 self-made videos of underage girls. One video showed a father abusing his two daughters, aged nine and 11.

The website reportedly had 2,500 customers from 19 countries.

So far, 23 child victims between the ages of nine and 16 have been identified.

“Among those arrested were several persons working in trusted positions, such as school teachers and swimming instructors,” the Europol news release said.

“Thousands of computers, videos and photographs were seized,” it continued to say. “In a large number of cases, more than a million files and pictures were found.”

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day released a statement saying the country remains committed to fighting child abuse and exploitation.

“We will continue to work with our domestic and international partners to address this terrible crime,” he said in the statement. “In Budget 2007, we invested $6 million to help protect children from online predators and to combat human trafficking.

“We will continue to extend our full support to Operation Koala and other similar investigations that help bring those who sexually abuse children to justice.”

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Randy J. Cash guilty child porn

he found almost 500 images of child pornography, most showing children thought to be 1 to 10 years old, he said.

A 38-year-old Marshfield man is facing 125 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Randy J. Cash pleaded guilty Monday in Wood County Circuit Court to five counts of possession of child pornography. Circuit Court Judge Edward Zappen Jr. said Cash faces a maximum of 25 years in prison on each of the counts. Five additional counts of possession of child pornography were dismissed.

Zappen ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled Cash’s sentencing for Feb. 29.

Wood County District Attorney Todd Wolf said as part of a plea agreement, he would follow the recommendation the presentence investigation. He also agreed not to ask for consecutive sentences in the case. The least amount of prison time Cash faces is three years.

Cash was collecting garbage in Wausau when he dropped his personal digital assistant, Wood County Investigator-Sgt. Dean Berres said. A woman found it, saw the images and turned it over to the Wausau Police Department.

The Wausau Police Department contacted the Wisconsin Division of Corrections after finding Cash’s name in the wallet containing the PDA and memory cards. Cash was on probation for domestic abuse in Marathon County.

In Marshfield, Cash’s home computer was seized. When Berres examined it, as well as the palm device and memory cards, he found almost 500 images of child pornography, most showing children thought to be 1 to 10 years old, he said.

Many of the images were downloaded from the Internet, according to the criminal complaint. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified 26 series of photos and 80 victims, Berres said.

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Anthony Fletcher faces up to 30 years if convicted in Federal Child Porn case

Opening statements got under way Monday in the federal trial of a Bloomington-area man accused of making child pornography.

Anthony Fletcher, who is representing himself, appeared before jurors dressed in a suit, a far cry from the inmate jumpsuit he has worn at dozens of hearings where he has repeatedly challenged federal prosecutors.

He was indicted in March by a federal grand jury on charges of possession and production of child pornography. If convicted, he faces 15 to 30 years in prison.

At a hearing last week, he unsuccessfully questioned whether the children in the photos he allegedly took are even children at all. The motion was denied but illustrates the legal savvy of a man who has churned out scores of motions from his jail cell.

His case file has 300 docket entries, a rate on par with some civil cases. Of the five other criminal cases indicted by the same grand jury, three have been sentenced and two are awaiting sentencing. None of the cases, which spanned from bank robbery to child porn to drugs, had more than 40 docket entries.

First it was allegations of police impropriety, then of improper behavior by the prosecutors and even the court stenographer. Fletcher filed at least 10 civil suits within the past few years, attacking everyone from his jailers to prosecutors to the police. All but one have been tossed out.

At present, Fletcher has two private investigators, a stand-by attorney and a computer expert as part of his legal team, all paid for by the legal system.

On the other side, the U.S. Attorney’s office has two attorneys and two experts. There are also six local attorneys who were appointed to represent the interests of the alleged victims in the case. One of those was arguing a point well after 5 p.m. Monday and blocked Fletcher from introducing questions about the girl’s sexual history.

Fletcher is no stranger to the courtroom, with felony convictions going back to 1984, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. He was sentenced to six years for attempted murder and 12 years for aggravated hijacking resulting from convictions in Cook County.

Last year, he was convicted in McLean County for aggravated criminal sexual abuse and possessing child porn, receiving a 29-year sentence in July. A federal sentence, if he’s convicted, could be tacked onto the existing state term.

His trial is expected to last at least two weeks.

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm  Leave a Comment