Ex-Wedco head’s son convicted of child porn

  • Sex offender: Andrew Charlton, two years’ probation

    Sex offender: Andrew Charlton, two years’ probation


A son of former One Bermuda Alliance election candidate Ray Charlton has been convicted of possessing child pornography in the United States.

Andrew Charlton, 32, pleaded no contest to the charge at a Rhode Island court and was sentenced last month to two years of probation.

He must register as a sex offender in the state and take part in a sex-offender counselling programme, according to court documents obtained by The Royal Gazette.

Authorities here have not been notified of his conviction.

Rhode Island State Police spokeswoman Laura Meade Kirk said yesterday: “Given that Mr Charlton lived in Rhode Island at the time of his arrest, there would be no requirement to notify authorities in Bermuda of the court’s action, nor his placement on the RI sex offender registry.”

Court documents show the unemployed Charlton was arrested in late 2017 after an undercover investigation by officers at the Rhode Island internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Detectives identified a device on a peer-to-peer network that was sharing files of suspected child pornography and traced the IP address to Charlton, of Crane Terrace, Narragansett, Rhode Island.

They executed a search warrant at his home on November 21, 2017, according to a report filed with Washington County Superior Court by police detective Kevin Kojoian.

“Detectives spoke with the defendant,” Mr Kojoian said. “The defendant admitted to downloading child pornography using the file-sharing software Shareaza.

“The defendant further admitted possessing child pornography on his laptop computer. Analysts located child pornography on the defendant’s laptop.”

A report by investigating officer John Nappi said Charlton answered the door and allowed detectives in, before admitting that he had downloaded child pornography on his laptop.

“The files were downloaded, then deleted right away,” Mr Nappi said.

“Andrew told us he was molested as a child and downloaded child pornography out of curiosity.

“Andrew went to a counsellor approximately ten years earlier and talked to the therapist about child pornography.

“He lost his job in April of 2017, had lots of free time and found himself searching for child pornography again. He searched for preteen, 11 years old and up.”

The report said Charlton was taken into custody and later released on $5,000 bail on condition of limited internet use, no unsupervised contact with children and surrender of his passport.

His laptop was seized and evidence of more than 100 images of child pornography was found. Some of the images involved toddlers.

Ms Meade Kirk said Charlton was initially arrested on two charges that were both felonies, transfer of child pornography and possession of child pornography, with each count being punishable by a prison term of up to 15 years and/or a fine of $5,000.

Court filings show he was arraigned on May 9 last year when he pleaded not guilty.

He retracted the not guilty plea on March 13 this year and entered a plea of no contest to a charge of possessing child pornography.

A charge of producing child pornography was dismissed. Charlton agreed to pay costs of $273.

Ms Meade Kirk said she could neither comment on the sentencing, as that was at the discretion of the judge, nor on the severity of the case.

Special conditions of his probation require Charlton not to live with any children aged 17 or under without the court’s permission or have any contact with children, including electronic contact.

He cannot loiter or reside within 300 feet of any school, daycare centre, playground, swimming pool, arcade, theme park, skating rink, toy store or any other place where children might regularly congregate.

He is restricted to owning one computer or tablet and one cellphone during his probation, and must report all his e-mail accounts and computer and cellphone passwords to his probation officer. Charlton’s probation will end in March 2021.

His LinkedIn account shows his past employment as a commercial credit analyst at three Rhode Island banks, a bank teller and an assistant pavilion manager at Narragansett Parks Department. He went to school in Narragansett between 2000 and 2004.

Ray Charlton, 60, was the OBA’s election candidate for Sandys North in 2012 and 2017.

He lost by just eight votes to the Progressive Labour Party’s Michael Scott in 2012 and by 280 votes in 2017. He also served as chairman of the West End Development Corporation for more than four years.

He stepped down in April 2017 because of “constant negativity” from parts of the community, despite what he described as “incredible progress” in Dockyard.

To read the arrest report, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”.

On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on a story that we deem might inflame sensitivities. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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