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Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News: Former College Park mayor indicted for second time on child porn charges


In a little noticed development, a Prince George’s County grand jury on May 25 issued a second indictment charging the gay former mayor of College Park with a total of 140 counts of possession and intent to distribute child pornography.

 The new indictment against Patrick Wojahn includes the initial 80 counts of alleged possession and intent to distribute child porn included in an earlier indictment issued by a Prince George’s County grand jury on March 28.

But the latest indictment, considered a superseding indictment, adds 60 new counts to the charges pending against Wojahn. It brings the number of counts for possession of child porn, which is listed as a misdemeanor, to 40 and the number of counts for intent to distribute child porn, which is considered a felony under Maryland law, to 100. That brings the total number of charges pending against Wojahn to 140.

Online records with the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, where the case against Wojahn is pending, show that a jury trial for the case is scheduled to begin on Aug. 7. The court records show that Wojahn has and continues to be held in jail since the time of his arrest after a judge denied his request for bail.

The first indictment came just under four weeks after Prince George’s County police announced on March 2 that they had arrested Wojahn, 47, on 56 counts of possession and distribution of “child exploitive material.”

Police charging documents said Wojahn allegedly had uploaded and/or shared at least 56 videos or still images on the social media app Kik depicting explicit sexual acts between adult men and prepubescent boys, depicting prepubescent boys engaging in sex with each other, or engaging in masturbation.

At the time of his arrest, Wojahn issued a statement announcing he had resigned from his position as mayor and was cooperating with authorities in their investigation into the charges against him. 

“I have cooperated fully, and will continue to cooperate fully,” he wrote. “I am stepping away to deal with my own mental health,” he stated. “I ask that you continue to keep me and my family in your prayers.” 

Legal observers have said that in child porn cases similar to those pending against Wojahn, where there is no evidence that the accused person had any direct contact with the juveniles depicted in the video or still photo pornographic images, the arrested person is usually released on bail while awaiting trial. 

The police charging documents in the Wojahn case also did not include any evidence or allegations that Wojahn was distributing the video or still photo images of child porn by selling them for profit, only that he was allegedly sharing them with others through Kik.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy, the lead prosecutor in the case against Wojahn, issued a statement at the time of the first indictment against the former mayor in March that provides a possible explanation of why her office strongly opposed Wojahn’s release on bail.

“This is an unprecedented case in our county in which a former elected official has been accused of a crime of this nature,” Braveboy said in her statement. “The charges contained in the indictment are serious, and we will continue to work with law enforcement to investigate and follow any new leads that may be uncovered,” she said. 

“It is important to note that the defendant is presumed innocent, and my office will continue to focus on achieving justice for the victims in this case,” she concluded in her statement.

Brian Fischer, a spokesperson for the Prince George’s County Police Department, told the Washington Blade on Thursday that the police investigation into the Wojahn case “remains active and ongoing.” 

Fischer said he couldn’t provide specific details about an ongoing investigation but said the additional charges against Wojahn in the new indictment were most likely based on new information obtained by police investigators. He said the Maryland State Police was assisting in the investigation by examining devices seized from Wojahn’s home at the time of his arrest through a search warrant.

A police statement released at the time of the arrest said investigators “recovered multiple cell phones, a storage device, a tablet and a computer” during their search of Wojahn’s house.

David Moyse, Wojahn’s attorney, told the Blade he would have no immediate comment on the new indictment or whether prosecutors with the state’s attorney’s office have offered a plea bargain deal in which Wojahn could plead guilty to a possible reduced list of charges. 

A spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office said the office was considering responding to a request by the Blade for comment but had not responded as of early Friday.

The post Former College Park mayor indicted for second time on child porn charges appeared first on Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News.

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