Raid yields child sex crimes

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER & CARL HAMIL­TON

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— A Ch­e­sa­peake City-area man is fac­ing child pornog­ra­phy and mo­lesta­tion charges af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors seized his lap­top com­puter con­tain­ing nu­mer­ous pho­tos of young girls with adult men, ac­cord­ing to Ce­cil County District Court records.

The sus­pect, Ed­ward Tilling­hast, 45, re­mained in the Ce­cil County De­ten­tion Cen­ter in lieu of $750,000 bond on Thurs­day, two days af­ter Mary­land State Police de­tec­tives as­signed to the agency’s Com­puter Crimes Unit and agents with Home­land Se­cu­rity ar­rested him at his res­i­dence, court records show.

Charges against Tilling­hast, who is sched­uled for a June 13 pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing, in­clude sec­ond-de­gree sex of­fense, two counts of third-de­gree sex of­fense, five counts of counts of pos­ses­sion of child pornog­ra­phy and three counts of per­mit­ting a child to be a sexual sub­ject in child pornog­ra­phy, police re­ported.

MSP de­tec­tives started their in­ves­ti­ga­tion on May 5, the day a rel­a­tive of Tilling­hast’s dis­cov­ered child pornog­ra­phy im­ages on Tilling­hast’s lap­top com­puter and con­tacted au­thor­i­ties, police said. That rel­a­tive told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that the im­ages ap­peared to have been “down­loaded from a file-shar­ing pro­gram,” police added.

That led to de­tec­tives raid­ing Tilling­hast’s res­i­dence and him grant­ing a police in­ter­view, in which Tilling­hast ad­mit­ted to hav­ing used “peer-to-peer file shar­ing to ob­tain child pornog­ra­phy” and to hav­ing viewed child pornog­ra­phy, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Tilling­hast also con­fessed to sex­u­ally abus­ing a girl, court records al­lege.

Police re­ported that the al­leged victim “was res­cued by troop­ers from fur­ther harm and is safe and se­cure with a le­gal guardian.”

ELKTON

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