Pros­e­cu­tor shared child porn on­line, po­lice say

Baltimore Sun - - AROUND THE REGION - By Justin Fen­ton and Alison Kneze­vich jfen­ton@balt­

A Bal­ti­more pros­e­cu­tor told po­lice who raided his home Tues­day that he reg­u­larly shared im­ages of child pornog­ra­phy on­line, in­ves­ti­ga­tors wrote in charg­ing doc­u­ments.

As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney Pa­trick Mo­ran was charged with pos­ses­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion of child pornog­ra­phy.

Mo­ran, a fa­ther of three, was a su­per­vi­sor in the ju­ve­nile di­vi­sion of the Bal­ti­more state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice. The of­fice says he is no longer em­ployed there.

The Na­tional Cen­ter for Miss­ing and Ex­ploited Chil­dren tipped Bal­ti­more County po­lice in July that a pic­ture had been up­loaded to a se­cure chat pro­gram called “Chat­step” from an IP ad­dress later con­nected to Mo­ran’s Not­ting­ham ad­dress, in­ves­ti­ga­tors wrote. They ob­tained a search war­rant Mon­day.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors said Mo­ran told them he had used Chat­step for sev­eral years. A cur­sory search of two lap­tops and a hard drive re­vealed pic­tures of clothed or par­tially clothed chil­dren, po­lice said.

Po­lice said they col­lected com­put­ers and stor­age de­vices from the home and asked Mo­ran if there were any oth­ers. He said there was a stor­age de­vice in a drawer that had “a lot” of im­ages, and po­lice found files de­pict­ing chil­dren be­tween 3 and 16 years old hav­ing sex.

Mo­ran posted $150,000 bail and has been re­leased from jail pend­ing trial. $600, the same au­dit found. “There’s noth­ing out­stand­ing,” Kohler said. “There’s no sol­diers in Mary­land we’re try­ing to re­coup mon­eyfrom.” The cases were re­vealed in a 2011 au­dit be­gun af­ter the prob­lems in Cal­i­for­nia be­gan to emerge, Kohler said. The Los An­ge­les Times re­ported Satur­day that about 10,000 Cal­i­for­nia Na­tional Guards­men are now faced with hav­ing to re­pay tens of thou­sands of dol­lars each. The ar­ti­cle prompted wide­spread outrage among politi­cians. and on Wed­nes­day, De­fense Sec­re­tary Ash­ton B. Carter or­dered a sus­pen­sion of ef­forts to col­lect the money while a fur­ther re­view is car­ried out.

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