Patrick Prince, 48, of 38 Pine St. Apt. 3, now faces a federal charge of possession of child pornography after being indicted on Wednesday and arrested Thursday. He was arraigned in federal court in Concord Friday and released on a conditional release. Rochester Police Lt. Anthony Triano said Prince can have no contact with children and cannot possess computer equipment of any kind as conditions of his release.
Police began investigating the case in October 2007, when they received a call from a computer repairs business reporting Prince brought in a computer that they believed had child porn on it, Triano said.
Police conducted a forensic investigation in December 2007, but at the time did not have the proper equipment to adequately search the computer. It was sent to the state lab, and in August 2008 the computer came back to Rochester. By that time, police had obtained the appropriate equipment through their cyber crime unit and were able to do the necessary searches, Triano said.
In September 2008, police obtained a second computer of Prince’s after executing a search warrant, Triano said. After completing the lengthy search of Price’s computer files police in January suspected there were more than 100 images of child pornography on the computers they searched. Triano said they forwarded the information to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia, where they confirmed the images did depict child pornography.
More computer equipment has since been retrieved. Triano said it is currently unknown if there is more child pornography stored on the additional equipment.
“It takes quite a while to complete this kind of forensics,” Triano said. He added the NCMEC has a stockpile of child porn images and they are able to identify potential victims and determine with certainty that the images are of someone that is underage.
While Triano said Prince does have children of his own, police do not believe any of them were victims in this case. He could not release information on how many children Prince has or their ages. The no unsupervised contact provision of Prince’s release includes his own children, Triano said.
Based on reports compiled with the help of NCMEC, police forwarded the information to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who sought an indictment from a federal grand jury. Triano said they went for a federal indictment because of the higher court’s ability to hand down harsher punishments.
Triano said Prince could be facing additional charges as the investigation continues. Information suggesting he distributed or produced the images could lead to further enhanced charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen Fitzgibbon is prosecuting the case, which is tentatively scheduled for trial on July 21.