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Montana: During Sex Assault Investigation, Police Chief Caught Running Child Porn Ring On Facebook

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Published on: May 27, 2021

East Helena, MT — The city of East Helena is currently looking to fill the position of police chief within their department as their current chief is no longer employed. He quit in March amid a sex assault scandal and has just been arrested for distributing child sexual exploitation material on social media.

On March 2, Police Chief William Harrington submitted his resignation letter to the city of East Helena after he was accused of sexual assault. According to public records, on February 1st, someone filed a complaint with the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office, claiming that Harrington had sexually assaulted them. A criminal investigation by the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation was launched in March and is currently still underway.

Fast forward to this month and the chief’s case is looking grim as he now faces new charges of receiving and distributing child pornography on Facebook.

According to the criminal complaint, Harrington was under investigation for child porn before the sex assault investigation. The complaint states that in September 2020, a law enforcement officer began investigating a Cybertip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline, a national centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children.

As the Independent Record reports:

The court documents alleged that the investigation led to a Facebook account that used the fictitious name Stella Carlson and was created and controlled by Harrington, who was the East Helena chief of police at the time. The documents further allege that Harrington distributed child pornography to the Facebook account of another person multiple times via Facebook Messenger.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said the other Facebook user is the subject of an ongoing investigation and other persons of interest are involved.

Harrington allegedly used an email address associated with a mobile disc jockey business he ran and his date of birth when creating the fake social media account.

The criminal complaint asserts that the investigation into Harrington’s crimes was ongoing while he was still police chief.

In one instance, Harrington is accused of sending 28 pornographic images and videos to the other Facebook user, at least four of which are believed to depict females in their early teens, on May 22, 2020, the criminal complaint states. Other such exchanges occurred in August and November of 2020.

According to police, after executing a search warrant at Harrington’s residence, they found multiple devices, including his personal cellphone which contained child porn. After his arrest, Harrington admitted to distributing and sharing the images in his child pornography social media ring. He also admitted to running the fake “Stella Carlson” account on Facebook in order to commit these heinous crimes.

The entire time he was exploiting society’s most vulnerable, he was the chief of police.

If Harrington is convicted of the crimes he’s admitted to, he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to life of supervised release.

“The City of East Helena was not informed prior of the disturbing allegations that came to light today against the former chief of police,” East Helena Mayor James Schell said in a statement. “The prior employment investigation conducted by the City of the sexual assault allegation was, to the City’s knowledge, a completely separate matter and not associated with these new allegations.”

It is no secret that there is an epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse in the land of the free. According to many experts, child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences. It is so rife that it is estimated that about one in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. This year alone, there will be about 400,000 babies born in the U.S. that will become victims of child sexual abuse unless we do something to stop it. Thousands of child predators are nabbed every year and for every one caught, there are likely 10 others who remain free.

As TFTP has pointed out in the past, one of the things victims of child sexual abuse are told is to report their abuse to the police. However, as TFTP regularly reports, and as this case illustrates, police are often times the worst offenders and even when they are caught committing horrifying acts of abuse, they receive little to no time behind bars. This is a serious problem, and does not appear to be slowing.

Weekly or more, TFTP reports on police officers who get arrested by fellow cops on charges of everything from trafficking in child pornography to child rape to running child sex trafficking rings. Some of these officers are low-level cops like Avo Marzwanian, 34, of LaPlace, Louisiana who was charged last year with 10 counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of child pornography involving juveniles under the age of 13 along with 15 counts of sex abuse against animals.

Other child predators fill the top position in their department like Anthony “Tony” Yocham, who is the police chief in Hamilton, Texas, arrested last year on charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Just down the road from where Yocham is the chief of police, TFTP reported on a cop in Dallas, Sr. Cpl. Daniel Lee Collins who pleaded guilty to uploading sexual photos of underage girls to various Google accounts using the City of Dallas internet network.

The list goes on. Sadly, when TFTP attempts to tell the world about these issues, we are banned, deleted, unpublished, or have our social media accounts throttled — which is happening right now.

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Article posted with permission from Matt Agorist

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